Pileated Woodpeckers

Around the Nesting Hole
Part II

One year later the Pileated Woodpecker pair has made their nesting hole in a poplar tree about 15 feet east of last year's tree. This hole is about 20 feet off the ground and faces east.

Pileated Woodpeckers will often choose to nest  near the previous year's hole but typically never in the same hole.

Roosting holes can be seen in  nearby trees and even in the tree containin the nesting hole. The adults will spend their evenings in these roosting holes after the eggs have hatched.

The brood this year numbers three. Although four is the typical number of eggs produced by Pileated Woodpeckers, this particular pair has produced clutches of two and three in the last two years.

The images this year were obtained two weeks earlier than last year. The babies are visibly smaller and less developed. Feathers are just now coming in and their vocalizations consists of soft buzzing or whirrring sounds whenever the adults are near.  They are probably 2-4 weeks from fledging.

In this image the male adult is greeted by two of his anxious brood.

The feeding rotation is usually every 45 minutes to 1 hour. In this image three hungry mouths greet the adult female.

As is usual, the adults take turns feeding the babies regurgitated  ants. Many of the surrounding trees show the obvious results of Pileated Woodpeckers foraging for food. Long strips of bark have been removed to expose the carpenter ants that comprise the primary food of the Pileated woodpecker. In some cases these dead trees have been entirely stripped of their bark.

 Because the babies are smaller at this stage of their growth, the adults will sometimes enter the nesting hole to feed them.

As the adults leave the hole to continue their feeding chores, they often can be seen removing excrement and other debris that has accumulated in the nesting hole.

    After fledging, the babies will stay with the adults some months, learning to fend for themsleves. They will then leave to find mates and territories of their own. Hopefully, we will return next year to find  the adults in a new nesting hole with another brood.

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