Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Pileated Woodpecker Digging for Ants

Since mid-December, the pileated woodpeckers have been observed at least once a week at the large suet feeder in the Colvin Run Habitat.  This morning, one of the pileated woodpeckers was seen on the trunk of one of the maple trees.
This female (no red mustache) was digging in the remaining mark of a previously removed branch.  No she was not seeking maple sap (as other woodpeckers do), but rather digging ants that have infested this tree. 
From the third photo (click on the photo for a zoomed view), you can get an appreciation of the size of the hole that this woodpecker had dug.  She has her complete bill and perhaps half of her head buried in the hole.
This last photo was taken this afternoon and shows the size of the holes dug.  The site is located about 5 feet off the ground in a line of trees on the Habitat boundary furthest from the woods.  Perhaps this is an indication that these very shy woodpeckers are becoming more comfortable around the Habitat.

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