PILEATED WOODPECKER (Dryocopus pileatus)
One of the occasional visitors to Mound House is the pileated woodpecker. They can be seen foraging in our larger trees for insects, especially carpenter ants and have a particular affinity for the coconut palms on site. Slow and undulating in flight, pileated woodpeckers are a strikingly colorful bird with a bright red head ,white stripes along the cheeks, and jet black body.
Not only does the pileated woodpecker eat ants, they also dine on other insects such as caterpillars and roaches and enjoy fruits and berries as well.
These woodpeckers typically nest in dead trees, carving a large cavity into the tree that can also serve as a future home to other birds. Their large and heavy bills are used to strike and chisel tree trunks with an audible “thunk-thunk” that can be heard far away. They inhabit forests and suburban areas from New England to Florida and all across the United States.
The photo to the right shows a replica of the Calusa Indian tablet painting found at Key Marco which was dated to over a thousand years old. What significance this bird held for the Calusa remains a mystery, but this tablet is demonstrative of the fascinating art created by these long ago people.
You can see this tablet and many other examples of Calusa art in the “Stories Beneath Our Feet” underground archaeological exhibit here at Mound House.