Pileated Woodpeckers, Dryocopus pileatus, Foraging in Suburban Habitats in New Brunswick

Anthony J. Erskine


Pileated Woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus), usually woodland birds, were seen often in Sackville, New Brunswick, in winters 2005-2007. Excavations in trees were made mostly by two female birds. A male bird joined each female briefly in late winter. These birds probably all roosted in wooded areas west of town. Most large trees in town are broad-leafed, in contrast to the mostly conifer woods to the west (there are only open lands to the east). Feeding excavations in town were mostly in maples, with little use of elms. Prey noted were large larvae, seemingly of sawflies, unlike published reports of Pileated Woodpecker feeding mainly on adult ants and beetles. Excavations further weakened trees already damaged by boring insects, causing perceived risks to passers-by and to overhead wires. Work by woodpeckers alerted arborists to weakened trees or branches, many of which were removed. Local people were excited at seeing, close up, these impressive – and tame – birds.


Pileated Woodpecker; Dryocopus pileatus; foraging; suburban habitats; New Brunswick

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22621/cfn.v122i3.603

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