We witnessed an unusual event yesterday in a dark patch of woods: two female Pileated Woodpeckers were chasing each other, circle-climbing the same tree, and attacking each other. It didn’t look like play. Probably was just a political squabble.
These are our largest Woodpeckers – about 16.5 inches long – assuming that the larger Ivory-Billed Woodpecker is extinct.
“Pileated” means “crested” or “capped.” Pileateds mate for life, but there was no male in sight or hearing distance. (The male’s territorial challenge is a loud, maniacal laugh.)