“Hickory Creek Preserve and Messenger Woods also have pileated woodpeckers along with all of the other species,” he added. “So they are common across almost all of our preserves.”
There is always something special about spotting a woodpecker tapping away on a tree trunk, Bryerton said.
“I think people enjoy seeing them because the knocking sound they make is unique to these birds, and people get a kick out of hearing the woodpecker drumming. It is an easy sound to identify.”
And they’re a good bird for bird-watchers to add to their lists because they’re easy to spot, he said.
They’re also easy to attract to bird feeders.
“Hang a feeder with suet or one with black sunflower seed you will surely get at least one type of woodpecker to visit, unless you live in a very open area with hardly any trees at all,” Bryerton said. “Even in suburban neighborhoods, downy and red-headed woodpeckers are common visitors to bird feeders and it’s fun to see these black-and-white birds with patches of red show up for a meal.”
Woodpeckers also are a good bird-watching species because they don’t always flit away at the sight of human observers.
“Woodpeckers can be pretty focused on hunting and digging in trees and are not always so concerned about people getting close, so we can get close-up views and watch their behavior as they search the trees for insects,” Bryerton said. “The close-up views of woodpeckers tapping away for bugs provide a reward for getting outside and looking around for wildlife. You get to see this interesting bird that you didn’t know was here as it goes about its day and gives you a cool connection to nature.”
To find woodpeckers in a preserve, look for birds that land on the side of trees as opposed to the branches, Bryerton explained.
“Woodpeckers are pretty vocal, too, and make many kinds of calls. Learning a couple of the more common ones can help you hone in on them as you walk in the woods.”