The Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Canadian Geographic present
National Bird Project - Vote for Canada's National Bird
National Bird Project - Vote for Canada's National Bird

Woodpeckers and Hummingbirds

Pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus )

Votes: 353

Pileated woodpecker
Photo illustration: Canadian Geographic; Photo: George_Whalen / CG Photo Club

This is the largest woodpecker in North America. While its body is mostly black, it has a bright-red triangular crest, white stripes on its face and its long neck, and white wing linings that are visible in flight. It can be seen in mature forests, wetlands and rural and urban areas.

(Both Sexes)
Weight 250-350 g
Length 40-49 cm
Wingspan 66-75 cm
Pileated woodpecker range map
Range map courtesy iBird for Windows
Click to enlarge

Vote for the Pileated woodpecker for Canada’s National Bird


Comments and essays appear in the language in which they were submitted


Allow me to enter this vote on behalf of a 98-year old friend who doesn't have direct computer access. She chooses the pileated woodpecker as a hard-working beautiful bird, friendly to people but proudly independent, whose custom-built nesting cavities are used and re-used by other forest creatures. These birds stay in Canada year-round and are easily recognized by all, yet still exciting to spot. An early family-owned timber company working the BC-Alberta foothills had the pileated woodpecker as its mascot. The pileated woodpecker has plenty of character and is a great symbol of one of our historic nation-building industries and of the importance of forest stewardship into the future.


There are so many iconic birds in Canada, it's hard to choose one to represent the country. The Canada goose bears the name of the nation, is a common sight almost everywhere there's water and has a stubbornly brave spirit. However, it also leaves most of its Canadian range in winter, is a regulated game bird, and lets face it, it's a goose.

The common loon is a large and handsome bird with a hauntingly beautiful call. It graces our currency and is already the provincial bird of Ontario. It too can't handle the Canadian winter, however, and migrates during that season.

The snowy owl is a powerful and dignified predator that's just damn cool to see, but it ranges all across the world and is only seen in the southern parts of Canada in the winter (and then, only occasionally).

The black-capped chickadee is perhaps the most pleasant bird on the list. It is gregarious and omnipresent across the country. Everyone knows what a chickadee is. But do we really want these adorable little fluff-balls as a national symbol?

I vote for the pileated woodpecker because it reconciles a lot of the problems I have with the other birds on the list. It is the largest woodpecker in North America, with approximately half its range in Canada. It is present in almost every province year-round. It plays a vital role in forests across the country: the nesting holes it excavates in trees with its powerful bill are used by many birds and mammals that aren't able to make their own. Pileated woodpeckers also bear the colours of the Canadian flag on their heads, with the large red crest being particularly impressive. Also, while a common sight in woodlands, it is not so ever-present that a sighting of one is dull and common-place. Seeing a pileated woodpecker fly across a field in its dipping, almost carefree flying style is always an enrapturing sight.

Pileated woodpeckers are a large and impressive bird with amusing habits and an iconic style. I think they would be the best choice as a symbol for Canada. And really, in the country of the lumberjack, doesn't a fellow forester deserve a special place of honour?

Better than that bald bird south of us

Fascinating and beautiful bird, especially in our area of Mont St-Hilaire, Quebec.


Sure, the Loon, but it's already Ontario's bird, it's on our coins, we see it every day. Sure, the Snowy Owl, but it's already Québec's bird, who knows where it is, and most of us will never see one.
Certainly have a soft spot for the Chickadee, but it's almost too cute to be a "national bird"...

1. Lives right across our country, in cities, remote forests and everywhere in between, and sticks it out through our harsh winters too!
2. Has a striking appearance reminiscent of cross-Canada First Nations esthetics, great symbols of Canada.
3. Impressive in size, but not a bully.
4. Has a pretty modest song for such a big bird. More of a shriek, really, but what it lacks in melodious prowess, it makes up for with great tapping and drumming.
5. Not an ace of flight like a bird of prey or even a kingfisher, but its flight exudes freedom... of spirit, and of body.
6. Doesn't seem to have some of the less admirable traits some other species have. It does its own thing.
7. A discrete yet important contributor to the well-being of its fellow creatures and protector of our forests.
8. Great pole dancer. No really, it makes "Dancing around the pole" a good thing.
9. The average Canadian has a good chance of spotting it several times in her or his lifetime, and no matter how many times, he or she will feel fortunate.

Bottom line: Good-looking, hard-working, free-spirited.


Like many of us, they stick around for the winter!


When I was a little boy in 1960 my mother taught me the importance of wildlife and especially her love of all birds. Her favorite was the pileated woodpecker for its size color and work ethic. It was harder to find at times as I remember as a youngster. My mom is gone now but my when I observe any wildlife it is like she is right beside me saying" Donald ..look...it's the pileated woodpecker" .....tap tap tap...

I have a property near Bancroft, Ontario. There are several Pileated Woodpeckers that I spend many pleasurable hours watching. They are very enjoyable.

C'est un oiseau majestueux et coloré.

Oiseau magnifique et grandiose, présent dans toutes les régions canadiennes à longueur d'année et en plus arbore une belle crête rouge, couleur de notre drapeau.

Selecting the pileated woodpecker (PW) as our national bird is quite an easy choice. Almost a no brainer, should I say. In fact, the PW can be observed all around the country, and spends the whole year in Canada. In addition, the PW is a keystone species and a wildlife engineer in our forests: the cavities it creates for nesting in the big trees it selects, after being used, are eagerly sought after by many species such as the hooded merganser or the common goldeneye, or by mammals such as the fisher or flying squirrels. All these animals rely directly on the PW's work in our forests. The PW acts as an "umbrella" species, meaning that if its needs are satisfied, the needs of a whole group of other species, many of which are unknown, will be satisfied as well. Thus, preserving suitable habitat for the pileated woodpecker in canadian forests help significantly in our efforts for conserving canadian biodiversity. Not only is the bird beautiful, but it brings values of hard work and social implication for its community. A natural choice for our national bird !

The morning my daughter was due to have her first child, you appeared. Noble, strong, and beautiful (and perhaps with a tinge of cockiness,) you reminded me of a native American warrior. Before my granchild was born, she had already been named warrior because her being had emerged despite the most unlikely odds.

You are hard-working, unrelenting, and elegant.

The Pileated woodpecker is a very impressive bird with a huge wing span. He is loud when he is trying to find food.

The Pileated Woodpecker is a beautiful, easily recognized, permanent resident of Canada, and can be found across Canada. What better reason than that to have it as our National bird? One only needs to see one once in their lifetime to know what an amazing bird they truly are.

Le Grand Pic représente une de nos plus grandes richesses : les vieilles forêts. Il est un résident avec un grand domaine vital. Il nous rappelle nos origines et notre lien important avec la forêt. De plus, c'est une espèce clé qui crée de l'habitat (cavités) pour plusieurs autres espèces.

It is the most majestic loking, the wildest and the most itelligent species

Nearing the end of January, I was surprised to hear a Woodpecker hard at it in a nearby tree. With such a short period of light but having a mild winter (for a change) I thought this guy had just decided to stay over. I know these birds normally have a difficult time finding enough food to keep them going. I was surprised to discover they don't normally migrate too far. Having this bird as Canada's national bird speaks also to the character of Canadians known as hard working, loyal and persistent. I vote Yes to the Pileated woodpecker as our national bird. Go Woody!!!

To see this big bird is a treat. The last time I had the privilege was in Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba. He was working diligently at the very base of a tree. When we stopped our walk to watch, he moved to the other side of the tree and continued. He was there the next day but no more after that.

C'est un bel oiseau qui passe l'hiver avec nous comme les geais. C'est très impressionnant lorsqu'on en voit un de près (ex. 2 pieds) avec sa tuque écarlate et qui cogne dans le cadrage de votre porte!!

I vote for the Pileated because
1) it has a striking appearance
2) people are awestruck when they first see one
3) it has a distinctive call and flight pattern
4) it's red head mimics the red in our flag
5) it is easily identifiable, you won't mistake it for a different bird

A striking bird - I had an entire family of pileated woodpeckers one winter frequent my suet net hung on a peach tree outside my kitchen window in Castlegar

I pick the pileated woodpecker because their nest holes offer shelter to other species like owls , swifts,ducks,bats and pine martens. pileated woodpecker is one of the biggest most striking forest birds on the continent . pileated woodpecker whacking at dead trees and fallen logs in search of their main prey carpenter ants leaving unique rectangular holes in the wood. pileated woodpecker live in mature deciduous or mixed deciduous coniferous woodlands of nearly every type from tall western hemlock stands of the northwest to beech and maple forests in new england and cypress swamps of the southern.

I pick the pileated woodpecker because their nest holes offer shelter to other species like owls , swifts,ducks,bats and pine martens. pileated woodpecker is one of the biggest most striking forest birds on the continent . pileated woodpecker whacking at dead trees and fallen logs in search of their main prey carpenter ants leaving unique rectangular holes in the wood. pileated woodpecker live in mature deciduous or mixed deciduous coniferous woodlands of nearly every type from tall western hemlock stands of the northwest to beech and maple forests in new england and cypress swamps of the southern.

i chose this bird because i always see them looking for grubs at my cottage

I worked studying the Pileated woodpecker for a summer, and fell in love with it's eerie call and distinctive drum that "sounds like a diving board"

The Pileated woodpecker is big and fierce and beautiful.

Wild and shy at first, it soon becomes confident and calm if not threatened.

Its gorgeous red crest glows in the sun as brightly as the red maple leaf on our flag.

Perfect for Canada's national bird!

The Pileated woodpecker is a very exciting bird to watch at our bird feeder eating suet cakes and also watching them
working on the trees building their nests and also getting ants & grubs.
Very under rated bird maybe not as common as other birds but by far more exciting to watch than most birds.
Listening to their calls.

With so many wonderful birds to choose from it is truly a hard decision. After witnessing a pair of Pileated woodpeckers fly over my home my partner and son and I much to our delight saw them land on a maple tree in our backyard. They then proceeded to dance around the tree peeking at each other from side to side this went on for several minutes until they flew to another tree and continued their mating dance. We were approximately twenty-five feet away from them when this happened. What a thrill! Needless to say we were all so excited to have witnessed these magnificent birds. I live on the Trent Severn between Havelock and Campbellford and have the opportunity to see many wonderful birds such as; Bald Eagles, Ospreys, Mute Swans/Trumpeter Swans, Blue Herons, Kingfishers, Hairy/Downey Woodpeckers to name just a few. However, I have to say the bird that gets us most excited is the Pileated Woodpecker, his outstanding colours and shrieks can be seen and heard like no others. He helps to preserve the forests and controls infestations, so for those reasons the beautiful and to me somewhat prehistoric looking Pileated woodpecker definitely gets my vote as Canada's National Bird!

To see a Pileated Woodpecker is special and amazing. ( you need to be quick though as they are fast) But to hear a Pileated Woodpecker in your area and you know you are in CANADA.
( let the woods chips fly or fall!)

Présent sur tout le territoire du pays, posant fièrement avec sa tuque rouge canadienne, comme un bucheron travailleur acharné. Travaillant fort pour nourrir sa famille en créant des cavités où trouver la nourri ture. De bucheron il devient bâtisseur car ces cavités deviendront des demeures pour de nombreuses espèces dont les canards nicheurs. Reconnaissable aussi par le son particulier provenant de ses coups de becs sur l'arbre. Un GRAND oiseau ce pic.
Travailleur, noble et porte bien la couleur de notre pays.

Check out my pileated WP photos at http://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/profile/647784/

This is one grand bird.

C'est un magnifique oiseau, très facile à reconnaître pour les néuphytes. On le retrouve presque partout au Canada et il reste avec nous tout l'hiver. De plus, il n'est pas très farouche alors on arrive à s'en approcher pour bien le voir ou le photographier. Je crois que c'est un bon candidat qui saurait plaire à tous.

KA-KAA!! KA-KAA!!! Do you know what bird that is? Well, if you guessed the Pileated Woodpecker, you’re right! Canada has begun a search for a national bird and obviously, I have picked the Pileated Woodpecker. The Pileated Woodpecker is a very majestic and hardworking bird. I think that it should be our national bird because of its colour relation to Canada, it nests in the Boreal Forest, its size, and it makes homes for other Canadian creatures, and it is found all over Canada.

One of the main reasons this bird should be our national bird is because of its colour relation to the Canadian national flag. The top of its head is the exact same bright, triumphant that is on our flag, and also, its neck and part of its chest is a white brighter that snow! Talk about a pretty sight!

My second reason that this bird should be our national one is because one of its largest nesting areas (commonly seen place) is the beautiful Boreal forest in Alberta. Campers and hikers have said that the Pileated Woodpecker is a very beautiful common sight there.
Also, this is the largest woodpecker in Canada. It can weigh between 250-350 grams and has a wingspan between 66-75 cm. That’s a big bird!

Another thing about the Pileated Woodpecker is that when it pounds into trees looking for its favourite food, carpenter ants, it’s actually making homes for other Canadian woodland creatures such as: squirrels, other birds, chipmunks and many more!

Lastly, the Pileated Woodpecker is found in every single province and territory except Nunavut! All over Canada, its distinct call is known! WOW! 

I think that this is a truly amazing bird and I hope you do to. SO VOTE!!!

Sites: http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/nationalbird/

Being a true Canadian, this bird is a year-round resident of Canada. Its large size is symbolic of our large country and its flash of red is remininiscent of our red maple leaf.

Ils sonnent comme ils rigolent dans le foret.

J'ai aussi hésité entre le harfang des neiges et la bernache. Comme l'harfang est déjà l'emblème du Québec et que la bernache est maintenant très répandue aux États-Unis ce qui en "fait moins" un oiseau canadien, j'ai donc choisi le superbe grand pic qui vit pratiquement qu'au Canada. Mon grand-père l'appelait le "Grand pic bois canadien" ! J'ai eu l'occasion d'en voir quand j'étais petite au chalet de mon grand-père justement.

1- Canada Goose is a mean, aggressive bird, that leaves droppings everywhere. There are TOO MANY of them.
2- the Loon and the Snowy Owl are already provincial birds

3- I looked for a bird that was found across most of Canada, and somewhat rare. In that way the sighting of them becomes a treat. (ie: Cardinals and RedWing Blackbirds are nice, and colourful, but very common.)

Voici un vrai bûcheur, un travaillant.

Superbe oiseau, majestueux et hors de tout doute, un candidat de choix pour devenir l'oiseau emblématique du Canada. D'abord, c'est un pic, c'est assez cool! Son cognement sur les arbres est entendu partout dans la forêt. Ensuite, lorsqu'on le repère, on est impressionné. Plus grand et coloré que son cousin le pic bois, il est à couper le souffle. J'en ai vu un l'hiver dernier à l'Université Laval à Québec. Une rencontre que je vais me souvenir longtemps. C'est le genre d'oiseau qu'on doit sélectionner, car facile à différencier et d'une beauté hors du commun ! (en plus, il a du blanc et du rouge !!! )

C'est un bel oiseau qui vient à notre mangeoire assez souvent .Et il est très beau .

Nous avons la visite des Grands Pics à la fin de l'été chaque année, dans mes mangeoires de pain d'oiseau au Lac St-Jean.Quels oiseaux magnifiques, qui font le bonheur de tous ceux qui les ont vu avec nous. C'est particulièrement apprécié,parce que on les voit peu, et ils viennent avec leurs petits,lorsqu'ils se sentent en confiance. Donc leur présence doit se mériter,ce qui rend leur venue tant appréciée

Un oiseau très impressionnant à voir. Solide et déterminé lorsqu'il s'attaque à un tronc d'arbre mort.
Facile à reconnaître à cause de son impressionnante stature il vous charmera lorsque vous le verrez
s'accrocher à un arbre.

Le grand pic se retrouve presque partout au Canada. Sédentaire, il creuse des cavités qui sont ensuite occupées par de nombreuses espèces lorsque le grand pic cesse de les utiliser. C'est un véritable architecte de nos forêts, et à ce titre il représente une espèce clé pour le bon fonctionnement des écosystèmes forestiers.

J'aime tous les oiseaux mais parmis eux, le grand pic est visuellement " spectaculaire ". Que ce soit dans ses déplacements, son vol et son cri cette petite tête hupée, d'un rouge vif m'éblouï à chaque rencontre. Souvent l'été je l'appelle en cognant 3 coups sur un tronc d'arbre et cela me permet de prendre quelques photos même s'il est très nerveux. Comme il passe tous ses hivers ici, je pense qu'il pourrait très bien nous représenté. Bien sûr, le mésange à tête noire aussi mais la taille du grand pic est beaucoup plus impressionnante.

The PIWP is a striking bird with its red head. It stays in Canada all year.
I do not think it is a provincial bird I am not sure if it is found in Newfoundland.

The few times I've seen a Pileated Woodpecker I've been in awe. Seeing one makes me stop and reflect; to be in the woods in Canada with such a beautiful bird is a treasured moment. Picking up the bark chips at the bottom of a tree makes me realize just how hard working these birds are. My dream is to be able to attract the illusive resident to my suet loaded bird feeders--to be able to help them out in times of need. Both the male and female have red head crests and look similar, both male and female help build the nest and share in brooding and feeding of the young. Sounds pretty Canadian to me! Marleen Grolman, Glen Huron, Ontario

bel oiseau qui est grand et fier avec du rouge comme le drapeau.
Present dans tout le canada
N'est pas deja un embleme d'une province ou territoire.
Nous rappelle de preserver nos forets.

Cet oiseau est magnifique.

Toujours très intéressant à voir, le grand pic ne passe pas inaperçu avec son cri pointu et le son de son bec qui picore un tronc mort.

Très bel oiseau facile à reconnaître et présent dans tout le Canada. Je pense également qu'il est est important que notre oiseau emblème n'ait pas peur d'affronter nos hivers comme ce Grand pic qui passe ses hivers parmi nous. Petit bonus....sa houpette est rouge !

un superbe oiseau qui passe les 4 saisons au Canada ce qui devrait être un critère d'éligibilité pour un tel vote.

Oiseau présent partout au Canada et qu'il est toujours impression à observer

This great bird of our Old Growth forests is a uncommon surprise for most sightings.
Its ability to land and hang-on while foraging with its significant body is a true joy for the lucky observer.

I love watching the woodpecker!

The choice must be a bird that is known all across Canada
We love to see the pileated in our own back yard
Its plumage features the red and white of our national flag!

We have two Pileated woodpecker that hang out in our neighbourhood, they are so beautiful and love that they are so vocal before feasting on the suets that we hang for them.

I have chosen to vote for this bird because it lives in almost all provinces and territories, and if we have this bird as our National Bird, we can work together to have this bird lie in all provinces and territories. The Pileated Woodpecker is friendly to others, but is also very independent. It has red and white on it, which are Canada's national colours. This bird lives in residential areas and even though it can be loud and annoying, i think people would like to wake up and see one in their front/back yards. The Pileated Woodpeckers build nests that other forest animals use. They are often recognized by everyone. That is why the Pileated Woodpecker should be our national bird.

I have only seen a Pileated Woodpecker twice in my life - but while walking in woods always am listening for their steady rap, rap, rapping. Beautiful bird - would do justice to being Canada's National Bird.

I think that it should be our bird because of how rare it is to see it. The bird has a very comforting sound. It's a beautiful bird, and I believe it should be our bird in Canada because I love this bird. The Woodpecker is also very pretty bird to see.I always love to see this bird during the day. That's why it should be our national bird in Canada.

I vote for this bird because he is seen as a powerful bird in our culture, good medicine.

The sound of the pileated woodpecker represents can always be distinguished on quiet walks through the woods as it pecks away at the dead trees. It can bring a part of the vast forested regions of Canada to small woodlots and even backyards as it will look for any source of dead wood, including telephone poles.

These are absolutely beautiful birds and should be recognized.

The woodpecker is pretty, it's wood pecking is nice and rhythmic, and it is such a sweet bird!

Backyard friend that visits regularly. Put out suet for it and other overwintering birds,

A magnificent woodpecker and the largest in Canada! I have observed them many times and their call is memorable! A remarkable nonmigratory resident of Canadian forests and so important for creating large cavities in trees which other species need. A keystone species for that reason and one most Canadians would perhaps be unaware of...unlikely to be selected for the national bird, but hey, thanks for making Pileated Woodpeckers more widely known!

Un des plus bel oiseau de la foret boréal.

I have grown up with woodpecker at my cabin my whole life and would be happy to see a woodpecker as our Bird.

I think the woodpecker has great style. Plus when you spot them they're so fun to watch.

The pileated woodpecker is a magnificent bird that is found all across Canada, save north of the boreal forest. Its plumage is strikingly beautiful, just like all the wonderous natural spaces across this great land. The colossal red crown on the crest of both the male and female species could well-be equated with our national leaf, the maple, in both colour and beauty. Its call is loud, clear and inimitable, just like the voice of Canada's quest for peace around the world. The pileated mates for life, and will defend its clutch of eggs that may be under threat by predators, such as snakes and marten. They've even been known to relocate their eggs to protect them if necessary, just as Canadians put family first. The giant holes these incredible birds drill into trees, in search of ants and other insects, are used by over 50 other species of fauna as nesting and denning sites - they help just as much as Canadians do to help their neighbours. The drumming of their powerful birds is used to mark territory, and the ringing can be heard over large tracts of forest and field. The steady drumming is perhaps the original sound which inspired our native cultures to create their own drums for communication and identity purposes. Each time I see or hear this magnificent bird, my heart quickens, my breath holds, and I search the skies for this wonder-bird. Upon sighting this four-toed giant undulating over the forest canopy, bobbing up and down with strong wingflaps, like a flying dolphin, I stand taller and feel a surge of pride that I live in a land that protects its natural spaces so that we can continue to share the land, wild and free. The pileated woodpecker is the perfect choice for our national bird. As found in our national anthem, O'Canada, are many of the attributes we find in the largest woodpecker throughout the nation: native, we see thee rise, strong and free, far and wide, keep our land glorious and free. This IS our national bird. Vote for it!

A bird with a sturdy, thick head that hammers away relentlessly at wood in the great forests to find tasty morsels and make a living. Not a bad metaphor for what Canadians do for a living.

(I suggested another bird, the Goldeneye, so if that gets added I guess this vote.)

I would like the pileated woodpecker as the national bird

The pileated woodpecker has a wide range across Canada! While it is the largest woodpecker, it's also quite sensitive to changes in landscape. They rely on large swaths of old growth forest where they create cavities in rotting wood. Their place in the ecosystem is especially important for other birds requiring cavities for nesting or rearing young. Without the pileated woodpecker, many birds would suffer. Their drumming can be heard far and wide. But most importantly - the pileated woodpecker is strong and striking with a flash of red on its head! I vote pileated woodpecker!!

I periodically spy these woodpeckers in my neighbourhood. Their size is impressive and they appear to travel in pairs. Always enjoy seeing them!

I would like to nominate the pileated woodpecker. Last March (2014) the Government of New Brunswick decided to allow the forest industry to cut 20% more wood than they were already allotted. In the process, the Conservative government willfully decided to NOT meet minimum habitat thresholds for at least six indicator species (ie., surrogates for entire ecosystems of animals), one of which is the Pileated woodpecker.

So, despite the World Wildlife Fund Planetary Index for 2014 that shows a decline of 52% in the total number of animals, birds, fish etc. from 1970-2010 (40 years), this bonehead bunch of losers went ahead with this plan to extirpate these species anyway. I will miss the song and swoosh of the majestic pileated woodpecker in the NB forest.

Margo Sheppard
Fredericton, NB

A strong colourful bird, love the sound of the pecking he does, seen or unseen. Have noticed him a few times in our neck of the woods and find him very fascinating. So he is my choice (or she!)

Il est une espèce écologique clé dans plusieurs écosystèmes. On peut le retrouver à l'année au Canada et il est représenté dans toutes les provinces et presque tous les territoires. Il est facilement reconnaissable à l'oeil et à l'oreille. En plus, il n'est pas déjà un oiseau emblème.

Magnificent and beautiful.

I have lived from coast to coast and have now taken up residence in the North. I rarely see this incredible bird where I live now and truly miss the beauty. At one point in my vast geographical residencies, there were two families living very near my home. This bird is smart enough to be relatively illusive without being arrogant and is amazing to watch - when the opportunity arises. To see it listening for the movement of his prey under the bark and then chopping it's way to his (her) feast seems almost human.

The colours the male sports are uncannily close to the red of our National Flag and if I'm not mistaken, I would say they are making the best effort to identify themselves as Canadian as they travel across neighbourhoods, inter-provincially, nationwide and abroad.

Great looking big bird - wish there were more of them; need to save their habitat.

An amazing bird abundant in the Cariboo region of B.C. Majestic and making itself heard and known to the forest community it inhabits.

It is a real treat to see the pileated woodpecker, with its wonderful drum beat sound as it forages for food. When you see the red head then you know there must be another! The woodpecker symbolizes our forests, which are always at risk of forest fire. But sometimes fire is essential for regeneration. Without the woodpecker, other bird species would not have holes in trees in which to lay their eggs.

This species is in a close battle with the ruby-throated hummingbird, but in my opinion, the pileated woodpecker is more predominant in Canada than the hummingbird.

The Cock of the North! Where hummingbirds are adorable, cute little creatures, this is the true King of the Northern Woods. Bright crimson crown. Broad draped cape. No bird symbolizes the North like the pileated woodpecker.

Hard choice, but pileated woodpecker is more common across Canada.

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