Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)
Largest woodpecker around Montreal and which can be observed best during the winter months due to lack of leaves. Feeds on insects below tree barks by hammering holes into the bark and pulling the prey out with the long tongue.
How to Identify
Shape and color of head is the criteria I use to identify this bird; A red hood and black and white stripes along the side of the head. Male have a red malar stripe.
Where and When to Spot
Although around all year, the species is best observed in winter due to lack of foliage. Usually you hear them first hammering on tree barks, mostly along tree stem's upper section. Occasionally, the bird descends to the ground pulling dead leaves in search of prey.