The pileated woodpecker I have seen and heard at the edge of the woods behind my house is magnificent. There are at least 2, because I have heard two distinct pecking sounds from different areas at the same time. In fact, old Tarzan movies set in Africa often had the loud call of a pileated woodpecker in the background. The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the biggest, most striking forest birds on the continent.

Downy woodpecker. Gila woodpecker. Pileated woodpecker (call) call. This crow-sized bird is the largest woodpecker in Ohio. The gorgeous Red-headed Woodpecker is so boldly patterned it’s been called a “flying checkerboard,” with an entirely crimson head, a snow-white body, and half white, half inky black wings. Ladder-backed woodpecker.

Look (and listen) for Pileated Woodpeckers whacking at dead trees and fallen logs in search of their main prey, carpenter ants, leaving unique rectangular holes in the wood.

Hairy woodpecker. Mike Nelson Andy. Other woodpeckers, sapsuckers and flickers. Gilded flicker. Its voice is often described as a jungle animal sound, somewhat like a monkey. Acorn woodpecker.

American three-toed woodpecker.

Golden-fronted woodpecker. Black-backed woodpecker. Despite is size, in large tracts of mature forest the pileated woodpecker is heard more often than seen. Arizona woodpecker. It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest.