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Pileated Woodpecker Excavation on Boneyard Ridge

Imaged: Jack Bulmer from Pixabay


During our ongoing restoration project at our Boneyard Ridge Habitat Reserve, we’ve had the pleasure of tracking the progress of a Western redcedar tree that is being excavated by a pileated woodpecker.

The Pileated woodpecker is typically found in older or more mature forests in the Coast Range, Willamette Valley, Klamath Mountains, East and West Cascades, and Blue Mountains, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. It is an Oregon Conservation Strategy Species in the Blue Mountains ecoregion. Strategy Species, or Oregon’s “species of greatest conservation need,” are defined in the Oregon Conservation Strategy as “having small or declining populations, are at-risk, and/or are of management concern.” The state has 294 Strategy Species.

This woodpecker species is usually associated with mature forests, or younger forests with large snags and logs for nesting and foraging. Since our restoration goal at Boneyard is to set the forest on an accelerated path toward becoming a healthy, functioning system and to provide better habitat for a variety of coastal forest species, this is a positive sign.


A Pileated woodpecker is excavating a tree at Boneyard Ridge.


We can’t know for sure what will come from the woodpecker’s excavation work at Boneyard. It could be they are creating a nest for the upcoming breeding season, and we’ll keep an eye on it!

The Pileated woodpecker is a large black-and-white bird that possess a vivid red-feathered crest. Fun fact: It is the model for the Woody woodpecker cartoon! They also have a distinctive call. Listen here.



A portion of Boneyard Ridge is still closed for safety reasons during our active restoration project. Visitors to Circle Creek should look for signage on the site. If conditions are safe, NCLC will reopen that part of Boneyard Ridge to public access in the summer.


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