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  Pileated Woodpecker  
  (Dryocopus pileatus)  

pileated woodpecker.jpg


Even the most experienced birders find delight in spotting the majestic Pileated Woodpecker. Measuring up to 47 cm tall, this species is by far, the largest and most striking of the 8 species of Woodpeckers known to nest in Quebec. The Pileated requires mature forest that contain some dead trees, known as snags. It is in these trees that the Pileated excavates it's impressive cavities used for nesting and roosting. The nesting cavities are impressive indeed, being up 20 cm wide! Because woodpeckers like the Pileated abandon many of their excavations holes, they inadvertently create high quality nesting habitat for many other species, including Wood Ducks, Goldeneyes, as well as other species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. Other services provided by the Pileated Woodpecker is the consumption of large numbers of wood-boring insects that damage commercially important trees. Clearly, dead trees are crucial habitat for the Pileated Woodpecker. In turn, the Pileated Woodpecker is crucial to the survival of numerous other species. Perhaps the Pileated Woodpecker in Quebec serves is a keystone species, by allowing the existence of a diversity of other bird species.

  Distribution of the Pileated Woodpecker in S. Quebec:  
  distribution map.jpg  


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