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Walkable Nature | Pileated Woodpecker

The large woodpecker can be seen in Walkable Edmonton

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Except for the believed-extinct Ivory-billed Woodpecker, this bird is the biggest woodpecker in North America.

The bird is almost the size of a crow.

You can see this black bird with white stripes down its neck and a red crest on its head living in Edmonton year-round. The male Pileated Woodpecker has an extra bit of red on its cheeks.

The bird is the namesake of the Papaschase band who inhabited this area as early as the 18th century.

Papaschase is translated as Big Woodpecker in Cree.

The resourceful bird finds food by hammering into trees at 40 kilometres per hour. Then it uses its tongue, which is more than three times as long as its bill. The lengthy tongue is also sticky and has barbs on it, allowing the bird to round up insects nestled inside trees.

This woodpecker likes to dine mostly on ants—60% of their diet is made up of Carpenter Ants. They'll also sample other insects and berries.

Learn more about the Pileated Woodpecker via Audubon

Written By Sarah Hoyles

Sarah is a highly motivated, organized and creative writer, communicator and journalist. She is experienced in creating content that thrives in traditional and new media settings. Sarah is curious about the world and wants to share what she learns in an accessible, timely, informative and entertaining manner.


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