Category Archives: North American Birds

Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus Pileatus

General: Once you have seen the Pileated Woodpecker in the wild, watched it climb trees and fly through the forest you will always be able to identify it. I know of no other bird that size and with that silhouette. As far as woodpeckers go, this is the largest North American woodpecker there is. Like other woodpeckers, its excavating plays a crucial role in many forest ecosystems in North America. A diverse array of other animals use its cavities for shelter and nesting.

Pileated Woodpeckers excavate large nests in the cavities of dead trees. Females lay approximately 1–6 white eggs. Incubation is approximately 15-18 days. The chicks are born naked and helpless. They fledge in about 26-28 days

Their call is a loud cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk. It is very similar to the Northern Flicker.

Identification: The Pileated Woodpecker Adults are 16” to 19” long with a wingspan of 26” to 30” and weigh 8 to 12 oz. They are almost crow sized. It is best recognized by its large, dull black body, red crest on the head and a white line down the sides of the throat. The males have a red line from the bill to the throat, in adult females these are black. In flight the wings show pale bases to primaries on upper-wing and entirely white under-wing covert.

Habitat: Pileated Woodpeckers inhabit deciduous and coniferous forests with mature stands of trees. They can be found in suburban areas and farmland with stands of trees. I live in a small Upstate New York town. The pictures are of a bird that was on a neighbor’s maple tree digging for ants and grubs.

Territory: Pileated Woodpecker’s territory ranges from eastern North America to the Gulf coast, the Great Lakes, the boreal forests of Canada, and parts of the Pacific coast.

Migration: Pileated Woodpeckers are year round residents of their territories.

Food: Pileated Woodpeckers eat insects, carpenter ants, wood-boring beetle larvae and to a lesser extent fruits, and nuts. They often chip out large and roughly rectangular holes in trees while searching out insects


Mourning dove – Zenaida macroura

General: The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) is a member of the dove family, Columbidae. The bird is also called the American Mourning Dove, and formerly was known as the Carolina Pigeon or Carolina Mourning Doves are light gray and brownish and generally muted in colorTurtledove. It ranges from Central America to southern Canada, including offshore islands. Many individuals in northern areas migrate south to winter within the breeding range where January temperatures are greater than minus 12 Celsius (10 F).

Mourning doves live in various open and semi-open environments, including agricultural and urban areas. The species has adapted well to areas altered by humans. The bird is abundant, with an estimated population of 130 million birds. In many areas, the Mourning Dove is hunted as a game bird for both sport and its flesh. Its plaintive woo-oo-oo-oo call is common throughout its range, as is the whistling of its wings as it takes flight. The species is a strong flier, capable of speeds up to 88 km/h (55 mph).

Mourning Doves eat almost exclusively seeds, which make up more than 99% of their diet. Rarely, they will eat snails or insects. Mourning Doves generally eat enough to fill their crops and then fly away to digest while resting. They often swallow grit such as fine gravel or sand to assist with digestion. The species usually forages on the ground, including at bird feeders.

Mourning Dove The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) is a member of the dove familyIdentification Tips: Mourning doves are approximately 10.5 inches long. The sexes are similar. They are a medium-sized, somewhat slender dove with very thin neck. Mourning doves have black bills.

Identification of adult mourning doves is: Pale buff-brown head, neck, breast, and belly, purple and green iridescence on neck, small black mark on lower neck, medium brown back and upperwings, with large black spots on coverts. Their long tail is pointed at the tip. They have dark brown tail with white tips to outer four tail feathers.

Coloration Juvenile: Dark brown mottled head neck and breast, scaly neck and upperwings with numerous black spots on coverts and scapulars. They have pale belly. Their medium length tail is pointed at the tip.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia