A pair of Pileated Woodpeckers raised their brood high above the ground in a standing dead pine near Athens Texas. The adults made three large holes to access their nest. The dead pine they selected is approximately 43 years old and very much on its last leg with no remaining limbs and barely any lower bark left. It’s surrounded by healthy pines of the same vintage.
Far too much standing dead timber has been cleared unnecessarily over the years. Along with many conservation minded Texas landowners we’re implementing a wildlife management plan at our private refuge with the goal of keeping the land as native as possible including leaving standing dead timber so that woodpeckers will have nesting refuge as they often prefer the tallest standing dead pines when selecting timber to build their nest.
The brood consisted of a male and female. On the first Saturday in May in 2010 they joined the adult female on the nearest limb and took wing for the first time abandoning their nest leaving it for another species to occupy.