Happy Draw A Bird Day, August 2016 Edition! While on a crafty weekend at Hickory Road Inn we spotted a pileated woodpecker in the woods, and after observing this fascinating bird I knew I had to paint him.
The Pileated Woodpecker is native to North America and is one of the largest forest birds on the continent, growing on average to 18 inches long. They feed at dead trees and fallen logs looking for their favorite insect, big carpenter ants, and leave unique rectangular holes in the wood, which then become shelter to swifts, owls, ducks, bats, and pine martens.
Pileated Woodpeckers make an unmistakable percussive sound while rat-a-tat-tatting on the dead trees at speeds reaching 13 to 15 miles per hour. In an average day he does this around 12,000 times and doesn’t seem to be the least bit bothered by it. This is because, after millions of years of this type of behavior, they’ve evolved some specialized headgear to prevent injuries to their heads, brains, and eyes. The most famous Pileated Woodpecker was named Woody – you might have seen his cartoon! 🙂