March 21, 2004
While enjoying a snowshoe hike in the woods of Pembine, Wisconsin one day this past winter, we found this dead Norway pine that had been ravaged by a pileated woodpecker in search of insects. The pileated is the largest woodpecker in Northeastern Wisconsin, and has a black and white body with a distinctive high red crest. The wood chips on the ground were reminiscent of those left by a stump grinder, and we were amazed at their size. On close inspection, we could see the "trails" of insects that had bored into the wood. This damage was very fresh, and not covered by the dusting of snow that had blown over the deer trails. Because their raucous call and furious hammering echoes a long way through the woods, pileated woodpeckers aren't hard to locate.