Pileated Woodpecker Calls (4 Sounds w/ AUDIO)

Below, you will learn the FOUR most common calls that a Pileated Woodpecker makes, including what it sounds like when they drum against a tree! These noisy birds are heard often in forests across North America.

pileated woodpecker calls, sounds, and drumming

 

Pileated Woodpecker Calls:

  • Make sure to press PLAY on the audio files below. 🙂

Sound #1: cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk


Listen for a loud series of “cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk” calls that lasts several seconds. The call typically rises in pitch and volume before falling toward the end. 

This sound is often confused with a Northern Flicker, but a Pileated Woodpecker’s call is typically deeper and less even in tone. 

 


Sound #2: wuk, wuk


Pileated Woodpeckers use this call for a variety of purposes, such as territory disputes or alarm calls. Sometimes it is strung together consecutively, while other times, it is much shorter. 

 


Sound #3: Interaction calls


This sound is typically heard when Pileated Woodpeckers are interacting together. In my opinion, it sounds more like a monkey in a rainforest than a woodpecker! 

 


Sound #4: Drumming


A Pileated Woodpeckers drum is a slow and deep rolling sound that lasts around 3 seconds. Drumming is used by both sexes for a variety of purposes, including courtship, establishing territories, and as an alarm call. Hollow trees are often used to make the sound resonate louder. 

 


Watch the short video below to hear more examples of Pileated Woodpecker calls, sounds, and noises.