These large, striking woodpeckers live in mature deciduous or mixed deciduous-coniferous woodlands. Nest cavities may take 3-6 weeks to construct and most of the excavation is done by the male. Cavity depth can range from 10-24 inches. Excavations made for nesting cavities like this one are often used by other birds and mammals for shelter, once the Pileated has moved on. Here, a parent feeds his waiting nestlings and then heads out to continue foraging.

This video accompanies Chapter 11, Breeding Biology of Birds, Handbook of Bird Biology, 3rd Edition from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Wiley Publishing.

Recorded by Timothy Barksdale, Macaulay Library