Re: Pileated Woodpeckers at Redwood Regional Park

Lee Friedman

If the stars align, this may be an unusual opportunity to quietly watch a pair nest and breed. The first report of a Pileated Woodpecker in the vicinity of the current nest building was April 8 by Tommy Hekl, and then on April 16 Elizabeth and Gabriel Olin reported a pair on the snag where the cavity nest is now being dug out (digging first observed by James Watts Jr. on April 19). It would be great for future observers to report any progress that that they see. For example, so far it has been the male doing most of the construction. Nest construction usually takes 3-6 weeks, with the female increasingly working on it as it nears completion. So it would be great to know if observers are seeing the male (red malar stripe) or female (no red malar stripe). Construction should be completed during May, followed by about three to four weeks to lay the eggs and incubate them, and then about one month as the hatchlings are raised to fledglings.
For those who may find this of interest, I have posted a series of 6 photos that show interesting moments by the male during his construction on April 28. These include views of the smooth inside of the hole, how the male expels the wood chips during his digging, and his concern for any nearby hawks. The photos with explanatory captions may be seen here (on most devices, click on the first and then click on the successive right arrows):
Good birding all,
Lee Friedman

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