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Pileated Woodpecker

Created on Day 5

on June 30, 2011
Zoo Guide: mini spiral-bound

The woodpecker is designed with small tufts of feathers covering its nostrils.


Pileated Woodpecker

The woodpecker is designed with small tufts of feathers covering its nostrils. These feathers keep debris from getting into its nostrils while it is pecking away at tree bark. A woodpecker can peck holes into trees without getting a headache because it is designed with a “cushion” in its head, which is actually a special muscle that absorbs the shock of the bill pounding the tree. Without this design feature the woodpecker would not be able to remove the bark of trees to find food.


  • The pileated woodpecker is known for the bright red crests on its head.
  • This woodpecker’s body is black with white stripes along the neck up to the head.

Fun Facts

  • Woodpeckers do not eat the bark of trees; they peck at it and remove it to find beetle larvae and other insects underneath.
  • Some woodpeckers have tongues with barbs, which can spear prey. Others have sticky tongues, which cause invertebrate prey to adhere to it.

Created Kind Members

Imperial woodpecker, red-necked woodpecker

CLASS: Aves (birds)
ORDER: Piciformes (woodpeckers and relatives)
FAMILY: Picidae (woodpeckers)
GENUS/SPECIES: Dryocopus pileatus

Size: 16.5 in (0.4 m) long; wingspan average 29 in (0.7 m)
Weight: 10 oz (0.3 kg)
Original Diet: Plants
Present Diet: Insects
Habitat: Mature forests of Canada and the eastern United States

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