What's with the Hole?
One February, I watched as a pileated woodpecker made large holes in a tree. What was it doing?
—Marilyn Davis, Chenango Forks, New York
George: The pileated woodpecker was probably searching for food in the wood of the tree. Its diet consists largely of the insects that live in dead or dying trees. The oval-shaped holes are characteristic of the pileated. It may also have been drilling a nesting cavity. February seems early for that kind of behavior, but it is possible.