Kansas' largest woodpecker is one of woodland birding's most exciting finds.
Pileateds are extremely shy birds of mature woodlands. Eastern Kansas has nice populations in timber studded with mature oaks.
A woodlot of huge hackberry near El Dorado State Park also has a thriving population.
Locally, they seem to be seen with increasing frequency along the Arkansas River in the Wichita area. Occasionally a report comes of one seen somewhere west of the city.
With wingspans pushing 30 inches, the crow-sized woodpeckers aren't easily confused with other birds. Their loud, excited calls are often heard long before even an experienced birder catches sight of a pileated.