Pileated woodpecker
Dryocopus pileatus
 
ITIS Species Code:   178166         NatureServ Element Code:   ABNYF12020
 
Taxa: 
Order: 
Family: 
Aves
Piciformes
Picidae
NatureServe Global Rank: 
NatureServe State (NC) Rank: 
 
G5
S4
 
Federal Status: 
NC State Status: 
 
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PARTNERS IN FLIGHT PRIORITY SCORES:
Southern Blue Ridge:  16 Southern Piedmont:  15 South Atl. Coastal Plain:  15
 
HEXAGONAL KNOWN RANGE:PREDICTED DISTRIBUTION:
 
SUMMARY OF STATEWIDE PREDICTED DISTRIBUTION:
 
Land Unit

US Fish & Wildlife Service
US Forest Service
US National Park Service
US Department of Defense
NC State Parks
NC University System
NC Wildlife Res. Com.
NC Forest Service
NC Div. of Coastal Mgmt.
Local Governments
Non-Governmental Org.
Other Public Lands
Private Lands

GAP Status 1-2
All Protected Lands
Statewide
 
Hectares

116,546.31
466,540.11
131,163.39
113,194.17
49,200.84
33,544.17
129,938.94
16,633.26
8,420.13
10,556.37
31,596.30
3,242.79
6,681,027.51

450,282.24
1,107,006.12
7,791,604.29
 
Acres

287,992.15
1,152,845.49
324,111.73
279,708.83
121,577.90
82,889.43
321,086.05
44,340.63
20,806.59
26,085.35
78,076.14
8,013.11
16,509,175.30

1,115,910.39
2,738,710.12
19,256,708.71
% of Dist. on
Prot. Lands

10.5 %
42.1 %
11.8 %
10.2 %
4.4 %
3.0 %
11.6 %
1.5 %
0.8 %
2.8 %
2.8 %
0.2 %
< 0.1 %

40.7 %
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% of Dist. on
All Lands

1.5 %
6.0 %
1.7 %
1.5 %
0.6 %
0.4 %
1.7 %
0.2 %
0.1 %
0.1 %
0.4 %
< 0.1 %
85.7 %

5.8 %
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HABITAT DESCRIPTION:
Uncommon in the piedmont (Potter et al 1980), uncommon to locally common in the mountains (Simpson 1992), locally common in the coastal plain (Fussell 1994), and occasional on the barrier islands (Fussell and Lyons 1990).

Found in dense deciduous or mixed forest, open woodland, second growth, and (locally) parks and wooded residential areas of towns. Will tolerate fragmented forests as long as some large trees are present (Kaufman 1996).

Forages by gleaning bark (Ehrlich et al. 1988).

NATURE SERVE GLOBAL HABITAT COMMENTS:

Dense deciduous (favored in southeast), coniferous (favored in north, northwest and west), or mixed forest, open woodland, second growth, and (locally) parks and wooded residential areas of towns. Prefers woods with a tall closed canopy and a high basal area. Most often in areas of extensive forest or minimal isolation from extensive forest. Uses a minimum of 4 cavities per year (only one for raising brood).

In Missouri, abundance increased with area covered with bottomland forest, density of trees at least 30 cm dbh, and density of snags at least 54 cm dbh (Renken and Wiggers 1993). In West Virginia found in all forest types, at all elevations, but less common in spruce-northern hardwoods forest and most common in mixed hardwood forest (Hall 1983).

Nests are in cavities excavated by both sexes usually in dead stubs in shaded places; cavity entrance averages about 14 m above ground (see photos and descriptions in Harrison 1975, 1979). Usually digs a new hole for each year's brood, but the same cavity may be used for several years. Nest tree species and size varies among regions and even within regions depending on site and availability. In southern British Columbia, preferred nest sites were in live aspen with heartwood decay, in trees larger than 40 cm dbh (Harestad and Keisker 1989). In northwest Montana, most of 54 nest trees were large western larch (LARIX OCCIDENTALIS) and nest trees averaged 74.9 cm dbh (McClelland 1979). In northeast Oregon, 75% of nest trees were ponderosa pine (PINUS PONDEROSA) and mean dbh of nest trees was 84 cm (Bull 1987). In western Oregon, 73% of nest trees were Douglas-fir (PSEUDOTSUGA MENZIESII) and nest trees averaged 69 cm dbh (Mellen 1987). In Virginia, 28% of nest trees were hickory (CARYA spp.), 22% red oak (QUERCUS RUBRA), 17% chestnut oak (Q. PRINUS) and nest trees averaged 54.6 cm dbh (Conner et al. 1975). Most studies report nests 5-17 m above ground in wood softened by fungal rot, in trees usually 100-180 years old, over 51 cm DBH, 12-21 m tall, and often near permanent water (Bushman and Therres 1988).

 
MODELING DESCRIPTION:
Occupied Landcover Map Units:
Code NameDescription NC Natural Heritage Program Equivalent
75 Tidal Swamp Forest Swamp tupelo dominated forest with or without black tupelo and/or cypress trees. Restricted to the tidal zones in the coastal plain. May have inclusions of coastal red cedar woodlands. Tidal cypress - gum swamp
121 Maritime Pinelands Loblolly forests and woodlands of the outer coastal plain. Estuarine Fringe Loblolly Pine Forest
17 Maritime Forests and Hammocks Maritime forests and woodlands dominated by live or sand laurel oak. Estuarine Fringe forests dominated by loblolly pine. Coastal Fringe Evergreen Forest, Maritime Deciduous Forest, Maritime Deciduous Forest
50 Coastal Plain Mixed Bottomland Forests Includes forests dominated by a variety of hardwood species, including sweetgum, cottonwood, red maple. Coastal Plain Bottomland Hardwood (in part), Coastal Plain Levee Forest
49 Coastal Plain Oak Bottomland Forest Bottomland forests dominated by deciduous oak alliances. Oaks represented can include swamp chestnut, cherrybark, willow, and/or overcup oak. Inclusions of loblolly pine temporarily flooded forests occur in patches. Hydrology is temporarily to seasonally flooded. Coastal Plain Bottomland Hardwoods (in part) blackwater subtype, brownwater subtype
158 Coastal Plain Nonriverine Wet Flat Forests Loblolly pine - Atlantic white-cedar - red maple - swamp tupelo saturated forests as well as forests dominated by loblolly, sweetgum, and red maple in non-riverine flats. Non-riverine Wet Hardwood Forest
41 Peatland Atlantic White-Cedar Forest Dense stands of Atlantic white cedar with saturated hydrology. Can include swamp tupelo, red maple, and pond pines with a moderate shrub and herb layer. Peatland Atlantic White-Cedar Forest
15 Seepage and Streamhead Swamps Includes extensive peat flats in the coastal plain, dominated by swamp tupelo, maples, and Atlantic white cedar alliances. In the sandhills includes streamhead pond pine and bay forests alliances. Saturated hydrology. Bay Forest, Small Depression Pocosin, Streamhead Atlantic White Cedar Forest, Streamhead Pocosins
30 Cypress-Gum Floodplain Forests Swamps dominated by black or swamp tupelo with or without Taxodium. Seasonally to semi-permanently flooded hydrology. Cypress-Gum Swamps
78 Pond-Cypress - Gum Swamps, Savannas and Lakeshores Cypress dominated swamps and lakeshores. Can include bays dominated by pond cypress or shorelines of coastal plain lakes with a narrow band of cypress. Non-riverine Swamp Forest, Natural Lakeshores (in part)
385 Oak Bottomland Forest and Swamp Forest The swamp chestnut oak, cherrybark oak, shumard oak and sweetgum alliance is one representative. Other alliances are dominated by water, willow, and overcup oaks. Swamp forests can be dominated by sweetgum, red maple, and black gum being dominant. Loblolly can occur in combination with sweetgum and red maple, or with tulip poplar. Includes saturated and semi- to permanently flooded forests in the mountains. Piedmont/Mountain Bottomland Forest, Piedmont/Mountain Swamp Forest
63 Coastal Plain Mesic Hardwood Forests Beech dominated forests with white oak and northern red oak as possible co-dominants. Dry-mesic to mesic forests on slopes and small stream bottoms in the coastal plain. Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest, Basic Mesic Forests
138 Coastal Plain Dry to Dry-Mesic Oak Forests Oak dominated forests of the coastal plain. Includes white oak forests with water oak or northern red oak and hickories as co-dominants. Dry Mesic Oak Hickory Forest, Basic Oak Hickory Forest, Dry Oak Hickory Forest
87 Pocosin Woodlands and Shrublands Includes pond pine woodland, low pocosin and high pocosin shrub dominated areas. Canebrakes and bay forests may be present. Pond Pine Woodlands, Peatland Canebrake, Small Depression Pocosin
67 Wet Longleaf or Slash Pine Savanna Wet flatwoods and pine savannas, typically dominated by longleaf pines, but slash or pond pines may be the dominant pines. Wet Pine Flatwoods
97 Mesic Longleaf Pine Longleaf pine woodlands without a major scrub oak component. Slash or loblolly pines may be present as well. Mesic Pine Flatwoods
42 Xeric Longleaf Pine Sandhills including a range of longleaf pine density from predominantly wiregrass, scrub oak dominated to true longleaf pine woodland. This does not include mesic or saturated flatwood types. Xeric Sandhill Scrub, Pine/Scrub Oak Sandhill, Coastal Fringe Sandhill
46 Xeric Oak - Pine Forests Mixed forest dominated by yellow pines with white or northern red oaks co-dominating. Pine Oak Heath
232 Xeric Pine-Hardwood Woodlands and Forests Mixed forest dominated by yellow pines with drier oaks including southern red, post, and chestnut oaks. Dry Oak Hickory Forest
230 Piedmont Mesic Forest American Beech - Red Oak - White Oak Forests. Mesic Mixed Hardwood
384 Piedmont/Mountain Mixed Bottomland Hardwood Forests Includes temporarily to seasonally forests dominated by hardwood species. Hardwoods include sweetgum, red maple, sycamore which co-occur in a mosaic of bottomland and levee positions. Includes alluvial hardwood forests in the mountains. Hemlock and white pine may occur as inclusions, but are generally mapped separately. Piedmont/Mountain Alluvial Forest, Piedmont/Mountain Levee Forest
383 Piedmont Mixed Successional Forest Generally loblolly mixed with successional hardwoods. Sweetgum, tulip poplar and red maple are common co-dominants in these successional forests. No equivalent
228 Piedmont Dry-Mesic Oak and Hardwood Forests Primarily oak dominated forests, white oak is often dominant, with co-dominants including . Also represented by sweetgum and tulip poplar dominated forests. Dry Mesic Oak Hickory Forest, Basic Oak Hickory Forest, Dry Oak Hickory Forest
222 Piedmont Dry-Mesic Pine Forests Loblolly dominated forests resulting from succession following clearing. This type occurs on all moisture regimes following disturbance with the exception of the extremely xeric sites. No equivalent
382 Dry Mesic Oak Pine Forests Mixed forests of the coastal plain and piedmont. Includes loblolly pine with white, southern red and/or post oak and loblolly with water oak. On basic sites of the piedmont, eastern red cedar may co-occur with post, black, and blackjack oaks. Dry Mesic Oak Hickory Forest, Xeric Hard Pan Forest, Chestnut Oak Forest, Dry Mesic Oak Hickory Forest, Dry Oak Hickory Forest
220 Piedmont Xeric Pine Forests Dry to xeric pine forests dominated by Virginia pine, shortleaf pine or Eastern Red Cedar. Pine Oak Heath
226 Piedmont Xeric Woodlands Generally post and blackjack oak dominated woodlands. White ash and pignut hickory can be found in combination with Eastern red cedar on glades. Xeric Hardpan Forest
21 Coniferous Cultivated Plantation (natural / planted) Managed pine plantations, densely planted. Most planted stands are loblolly, but slash and longleaf occur as well. No equivalent
51 Deciduous Cultivated Plantation Planted deciduous trees. Includes sweetgum and sycamore plantations. No equivalent
202 Residential Urban Includes vegetation interspersed in residential areas. Includes lawns, mixed species woodlots, and horticultural shrubs. Vegetation accounts for between 20 - 70% of the cover. No equivalent
517 Hemlock Floodplain Forest Alluvial forest with hemlock and/or white pine in mountains and western piedmont. Hydrology is generally temporarily to seasonally flooded. Canada Hemlock Forest
522 Northern Hardwoods High Elevation forests including yellow birch, American beech, and yellow buckeye. Includes forests with Hemlock and Yellow Birch. Northern Hardwoods Forest, Boulderfield Forest
525 Appalachian Oak Forest A variety of oak forest types including Black, White, Scarlet Oaks in dry to mesic situations. Includes forests historically co-dominated by American Chestnut. High Elevation Red Oak Forest, Montane White Oak Forest
526 Appalachian Cove Forest Mixed Mesophytic forests of the mountains. Includes tuliptree, basswood, yellow buckeye and surgar maple. This class is mapped to include cove forests dominated or co-dominated by hemlock. Rich Cove Forest, Acidic Cove Forest
527 Appalachian Hemlock Upland hemlock forests of the moutains region. Vary from side slopes to steep slope positions. Canada Hemlock Forest
528 Appalachian Xeric Pine Forest Pine forests and woodlands on xeric sites. A variety of pines, including Virginia, Shortleaf, Eastern White Pine, Table Mountain and Pitch pine. Often small areas of dense pine within a matrix of Xeric Oak-Pine Forests. Pine Oak Heath
529 Appalachian Xeric Mixed Forest Mixed forests with Virginia, Shortleaf, Eastern White Pine, Table Mountain and Pitch pines in combination with xeric oak species. Oaks include, white, Southern Red, black, and rock chestnut. Pine Oak Heath
530 Appalachian Xeric Deciduous Forest Deciduous forests in the mountains dominated by Xeric Oak species. Species include, white, Southern red, black, and rock chestnut. High Elevation Red Oak Forest, Montane White Oak Forest
533 Appalachian Swamp Forest Evergreen and deciduous forests with saturated hydrologies. This class may contain a variety of trees species, including hemlock - red maple, pitch pine, and white pine forests. Swamp Forest-Bog Complex, Southern Appalachian Bog, Southern Appalachian Fen
View Entire Landcover Legend
 
Additional Spatial Constraints:
Exclude all area outside of known range.
Limited to elevation range: less than 5000 ft.
Exclude areas of intensive human activity including moderately to highly developed landscapes.
 
CITATIONS:
Renken, R. B., and E. P. Wiggers. 1993. Habitat characteristics related to pileated woodpecker densities in Missouri. Wilson Bull. 105:77-83.

Bent, A.C. 1939. Life histories of North American woodpeckers, U.S. Nat'l. Mus. Bull. 174. Washington, D.C.

Simpson MB Jr. 1992. Birds of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Chapel Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press.

Fussell, J. III and M. Lyons. 1990. Birds of the Outer Banks [pamphlet]. Eastern National Parks and Monument Association Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society.

McClelland, B.R. 1979. The pileated woodpecker in forests of the northern Rocky Mountains. Pages 283-299 in J.G. Dickson, R.N. Conner, R.R. Fleet, J.A. Jackson, and J.C. Kroll, editors. The role of insectivorous birds in forest ecosystems. Academic Press,

Conner, R.N., R.G. Hooper, H.S. Crawford, and H.S. Mosby. 1975. Woodpecker nesting habitat in cut and uncut woodlands in Virginia. Journal of Wildlife Management 39:144-150.

Fussell, J.O. III. 1994. A birderís guide to coastal North Carolina. Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press.

Kaufman K. 1996. Lives of North American Birds. Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Harestad, A. S., and D. G. Keisker. 1989. Nest tree use by primary cavity-nesting birds in south central British Columbia. Can. J. Zool. 67:1067-1073.

Renken, R. B., and E. P. Wiggers. 1989. Forest characteristics related to pileated woodpecker territory size in Missouri. Condor 91:642-652.

Hall, G.A. 1983. West Virginia birds:distribution and ecology. Spec. Publ. Carnegie Mus. Nat. Hist. No. 7, Pittsburgh. 180 pp.

Harrison, H.H. 1975. A field guide to bird's nests in the U.S. east of the Mississippi River. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts. 257 p.

Harrison, C. 1978. A field guide to the nests, eggs and nestlings of North American birds. Collins, Cleveland, Ohio.

Harrison, H.H. 1979. A field guide to western birds' nests. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 279 pp.

Potter, E. F., J. F. Parnell, and R. P. Teulings. 1980. Birds of the Carolinas. Univ. North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill. 408 pp.

Terres, J.K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.

American Ornithologists' Union (AOU), Committee on Classification and Nomenclature. 1983. Check-list of North American Birds. Sixth Edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, Kansas.

Kilham, L. 1983. Life history studies of woodpeckers of eastern North America. Nuttall Ornithol. Club Pub. No. 20. vii + 240 pp.

Bull, E. L. 1987. Capture techniques for owls. Pages 291-293 in Nero, R. W., et al., eds. Biology and conservation of northern forest owls. USDA Forest Service, Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-142.

Bushman, E.S., and G.D. Therres. 1988. Habitat management guidelines for forest interior breeding birds of coastal Maryland. Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Tech. Publ. 88-1. 50 pp.

Ehrlich, P.R., D.S. Dobkin, and D. Wheye. 1988. The birder's handbook:a field guide to the natural history of North American birds. Simon and Shuster, Inc., New York. xxx + 785 pp.

Mitchell, W.A. 1988. Songbird nest boxes. Section 5.1.8, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wildlife Resources Management Manual. Tech. Rep. EL-88-19. Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Mississippi. 48 pp.

10 March 2005
 
This data was compiled and/or developed by the North Carolina GAP Analysis Project.

For more information please contact them at:
NC-GAP Analysis Project
Dept. of Zoology, NCSU
Campus Box 7617
Raleigh, NC 27695-7617
(919) 513-2853
www.basic.ncsu.edu/ncgap