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Southern pileated woodpecker

Dryocopus pileatus pileatus


This is the largest woodpecker in the United States, except for the possibly extinct Ivory-billed Woodpecker. They are mainly black with a red crest, and have a white line down the sides of the throat. They show white on the wings in flight. Adult males have a red line from the bill to the throat, in adult females these are black. These birds mainly eat insects, especially carpenter ants and wood-boring beetle larvae. They also eat fruits, nuts, and berries, including poison ivy berries.[6] Pileated Woodpeckers will often chip out large and roughly rectangular holes in trees while searching out insects, especially ant galleries. They also will lap up ants by reaching with their long tongue into crevices and sometimes forage on or near the ground.


Seen in woods during the Christmas bird count

No species ID suggestions


JamesFunk 5 years ago

Really like the picture with the wings extended

DianePlatcoBrooks 5 years ago

I learned something myself Maria. I didn't know that there was debate as to Acorn wp or Pileated.

Maria dB
Maria dB 5 years ago

Thanks for the information, Diane. I was only speculating where the inspiration for the cartoon character came from. You've given us interesting information.

DianePlatcoBrooks 5 years ago

I always heard that Woody Woodpecker was created after the Pileated woodpecker, but there seems to be some debate about it. Some say he's created after the Acorn woodpecker.
Wiki: Origin

The early version of Woody Woodpecker, as seen in the 1941 short Pantry Panic.
According to Walter Lantz's press agent, the idea for Woody came during the producer's honeymoon with his wife, Gracie, in Sherwood Lake, California. A noisy pileated woodpecker[1] outside their cabin kept the couple awake at night, and when a heavy rain started, they learned that the bird had bored holes in their cabin's roof. As both Walter and Gracie told Dallas attorney Rod Phelps during a visit, Walter wanted to shoot the thing, but Gracie suggested that her husband make a cartoon about the bird, and thus Woody was born,[4] The story is questionable, however, since the Lantzes were not married until after Woody made his screen debut. Also, their story that the bird's cry inspired Woody's trademark "Ha-ha-ha-HAA-ha!" is also questionable, as Mel Blanc had already used a similar laugh in earlier Warner Bros. cartoons such as Elmer's Candid Camera.

Although allegedly based on an acorn woodpecker, Woody shares many characteristics in common with the pileated woodpecker in terms of both physical appearance as well as his characteristic laugh, which resembles the call of the pileated woodpecker. These similarities are apparently the result of the artistic license of the creators, and have caused much confusion within the birding community amongst those who have attempted to classify Woody's species.[1]

Maria dB
Maria dB 5 years ago

Thanks, Diane; I didn't know it either until I started reading the info on the bird. Thanks, Sukaina and Jerry for your comments. Sukaina, this bird may indeed have been the inspiration for the cartoon character!

Sukaina 5 years ago

cute bird with stylish hairstyle & It made me remember (woody woodpecker cartoon)..
: )
great captures!

DianePlatcoBrooks 5 years ago

Nice series. I didn't know there was a southern species.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA

Lat: 35.93, Long: -79.04

Spotted on Dec 23, 2012
Submitted on Dec 24, 2012

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