The Pileated Woodpecker is a large, striking bird throughout North America. Known for its distinctive appearance and powerful drumming, this woodpecker is familiar in forests and wooded areas. It is now the largest extant woodpecker species in North America since the reclassification of the ivory-billed woodpecker as extinct by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Unlike the larger and more specialized ivory-billed woodpecker, the Pileated woodpecker is more adaptable, allowing it to continue surviving in proximity to human habitation. The birds are essential in controlling the insect population, and even though some homeowners could consider them annoying, the disappearance of these woodpeckers could increase the tree beetle population, damaging forests.
Below, a woodpecker rams into a tree at the Palisades interstate parkway.