Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)

Siblings wait for their parents' return. The male (with red marking near the bill) is below.

The pileated woodpecker is a large, crow-sized bird that inhabits bottomland forests. It is found throughout most of the eastern U.S. and its range extends into Canada and some of the western and north-central states.

This family of nesting pileated woodpeckers was discovered within a few miles of the Illinois Raptor Center by Pam and John Schnake who alerted IRC staff to their presence.

I am indebted to Pam and John who invited Jacques Nuzzo and me to watch the nest with them. I also was able to share their story with the readers of The State Journal-Register where I work.

Having been afforded only glimpses of pileated woodpeckers in the past, it was a privilege to observe them at the nest.

photographs by Chris Young, The State Journal-Register.

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