Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Fay's peckerwood is a Pileated woodpecker

Turns out, we learn below, Adair County actually has a plethora of peckerwoods - seven in all. And lots of names for the Pileated. Please read on. -CM

By Wendy Butler Burt

The woodpecker sending large woodchips flying in all directions while searching for insects or excavating a nesting hole in a tree, known locally as a "Woodhen" (or, as I once was told, a "Pollyanna Woodhen"), is a Pileated Woodpecker.

Pileated Woodpeckers, also recognized for their very loud and almost primeval call, are the largest woodpecker species in North America now that the Ivory Billed Woodpecker is presumed extinct.

In Adair County, the Pileated Woodpecker is joined by six other woodpecker species - Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Red Headed Woodpeckers, Red Bellied Woodpeckers, Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers and Yellow Shafted Flickers.

Try to find them all during the upcoming Great American Backyard Bird Count in February! --Wendy Butler BurtGBBC in 2012: February 17-20)

Comments re article 49319 Birds of Kentucky Was it a woodhen which made chips fly

This story was posted on 2012-01-11 07:32:14
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.

Birds of KY: Pileated - Woodhen - 1 of 6 woodpeckers in Adair Co.

2012-01-11 - South Adair County, KY - Photo by David Upchurch.

The large Woody Woodpecker bird is a Pileated Woodpecker, sometimes called a Woodhen. This one was captured by David Upchurch and posted on CM almost one year ago. It's the bird, ornithologist Wendy Butler Burt says, which Fay W. McKinley remembers as a woodhen. The caption with the posting last year:David Upchurch wasn't present when this photo was taken, which may have made it possible. "They are very shy birds," he notes, "they fly at the slightest sound." The result of his set up work is a marvelous shot taken by his Leaf River Trail Cam which has also captured an image of another beautiful bird. The magnificent Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) dominates the scene. It measures perhaps 16" in length, and may appear even larger because of the camera angle. A big bonus in the photo is lower down in the photograph. A Red Bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) is sharing the insect banquet on the same tree trunk. It eats beetle larvae and, carpenter ants. Pileated Woodpeckers are approximately the same size as the nearly extinct ivory-billed woodpecker, and is very similar in many characteristics. According to the entry on Pileated Woodpeckers in Wikipedia, the Pileated Woodpecker is the model for the "Woody Woodpecker," cartoon character. Its call is a wild laugh, the article says. Another noise it is famous for making is a drumming noise. More than a few people have been startled by the drumming sound when the birds peck rapidly on chimneys, roofs, and other parts of the house. It is sometimes called an "Indian Rooster" or "Rain crow," and, in the Adair County area, it is sometimes referred to as a "Wood Hen."

Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by Linda Waggener and Pen Waggener, PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia Magazine. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.