Photo:Ron Wilson

Knock on wood

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Ron Wilson captured the perfect picture of a pileated woodpecker perched atop a utility pole in Trail.

The pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus Pileatus) is the largest woodpecker commonly seen.

The female’s red cap is less extensive than in the male.

Juvenile plumage, held briefly, resembles the adult but is paler overall. Call is a loud, rising and falling wuck-a-wuck-a-wuck-a, similar to the flicker.

They are generally uncommon and localized throughout much of its range.

It prefers dense, mature forests but also seems to be adapting to human encroachment, becoming more common and more tolerant of disturbed habitats, especially in the east, found in woodlots and parklands, as well as deep woods.

Listen for its slow, resounding hammering; look for the long rectangular or oval holes it excavates.

Carpenter ants in fallen trees and stumps are its major food source.