BIRD OF THE WEEK — PILEATED WOODPECKER — PLANET EARTH BIRD WORLD group

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Sierra Club* United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) * American Bird Conservancy

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PILEATED WOODPECKER

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Dryocopus pileatus
POPULATION: 2.6 million
TREND: Stable
HABITAT: Mature forests, parks, and suburbs with large trees.

With flashing black-and-white wings and a bright red crest, when a crow-sized Pileated Woodpecker swoops by, even the most experienced birders stop in their tracks. This is the largest of North American woodpeckers. In the United States, only the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, likely extinct, was bigger.

Why is the bird is named “pileated?” There’s a simple reason behind that: It derives from the Latin pileatus, meaning “capped.” Just one glance at this bird’s bright crest explains the name.

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