[CT Birds] Where to find a Pileated Woodpecker?

ctredbird at comcast.net ctredbird at comcast.net
Sat Feb 24 19:18:59 EST 2007


I live in the northwest corner and bird a lot there.  I believe that Pileated is most common in CT in the northwest corner, especially in dense woodlands with a lot of pine trees, but I have found them nearer to the coast in towns similar to those already mentioned enough times to believe they do reasonably well in certain places there as well.  I agree that a good carpenter ant supply and a large trees with soft insides for them to explore make an area more attractive to them.

I don't know that I would go as far as to say they're common anywhere in CT, but they definitely are shy and even when you're in a good spot you can go for some time without seeing or hearing one.  They are also definitely more often heard than seen, in my experience.  I know the original poster is from Darien and I'm sure there are good spots closer to the coast, but around where I am, the best spots I can think of would be White Memorial, Roaring Brook Nature Center in Canton, Great Pond SF in Simsbury and Nepaug State Forest in New Hartford.  I've never really looked for one and I think it would be tough to do that.  Spend enough time in suitable habitat and one will find you.

In terms of Red-headed Woodpecker, check the reports.  Often, when one is seen away from a migration spot like Lighthouse it will stick around for awhile.  Late fall into early winter is best for that.  We've noted here in Hartford County that they pass through regularly during spring migration but seldom stick around for more than a day or two.  I don't know if that is also the case elsewhere in the state.  Chances are that one or two are overwintering in the state and maybe someone will report one here soon.

Jamie Meyers
Canton, CT

-------------- Original message -------------- 
From: Boletebill <boletebill at yahoo.com> 

> Hi. 
> I'm sure that many people that join this list can give you specific spots 
> for Pileated WP's but in general I'd make a suggestion that while PWP is not 
> uncommon in CT it is a shy bird and it does favor certain habitats over others. 
> I see PWP's mostly in mature mixed deciduous/coniferous forests. Since they 
> favor carpenter ants for food look for a forest in your area with old, dying 
> trees along with a large tract of unbroken healthy forest. In my area 
> (Guilford) I find them in forests with a mix of large White Pine and various Oak 
> and Sugar Maple. A good batch of dead Hemlock is a good possibility too. If 
> you learn to recognise their typical Carpenter ant excavation (an oblong or 
> rectangular hole chiseled out of a tree trunk), learn their call notes and you 
> put yourself in an old forest of some type as described you'll find them on your 
> own! 
> Here in south/central CT I bump into them at Chatfield Hollow SP 
> (Killingworth), Branford Supply ponds(Branford), Westwoods(Guilford), Wadsworth 
> Falls SP (Middletown). 
> 
> Redheaded WP is another story. These are uncommon in CT. Best bet in my 
> experience is during Fall migration (Sept and Oct.) at Lighthouse Point during 
> the Hawkwatch (New Haven). 
> 
> Bill Yule 
> Guilford 
> 
> Jordan Lewis wrote: 
> Hi, 
> 
> 
> 
> My wife and I would like to know where's a good place to find a Pileated 
> Woodpecker? Are there any known hot spots? We live in a residential 
> area and have seen Hairy, Downy, and Red Bellied. We'd love to add 
> Pileated and Red Headed to our life list. 
> 
> 
> 
> -Thanks, 
> 
> 
> 
> Jordan 
> 
> Darien 
> 
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