690

I photographed this Pileated Woodpecker in the park this morning. It was not there when I arrived, but I called it, and it came. How do you call a Pileated Woodpecker?

Answer:

There are several ways to "talk" to Pileated Woodpeckers, such as playing recordings of their songs, but the easiest way that I have found is to simulate another Pileated Woodpecker hunting for food. Be sure you are in the woodpecker's territory, and select a good tree. You can find the right tree by tapping on it with a rock, pocket knife, etc. It should make a fairly loud, resonant sound. If you are lucky enough to hear the woodpecker digging for food, you will get a good idea of how it should sound, as well as the rhythm (or lack of rhythm) for the taps. I have the best results with a small oak tree, using short, series of taps: Tap...tap, tap....tap.....tap, tap, tap, tap...........tap, tap.......tap, and then wait a bit. The order does not seem to be important, but the lack of a regular pattern seems to work better. After a few seconds of tapping, stand still, and watch. If the woodpecker is nearby, it usually only takes 3 or 4 minutes before he shows up. You have to watch carefully, because the woodpecker won't make any noise. Sometimes he sneaks up, and I don't notice until he is in the tree, right above me. It does not seem to attract the other species of woodpeckers in the park, but the Pileated Woodpecker shows up every time.
Non-subscriber