Pileated Woodpecker tapping twice

The Pileated Woodpecker is common in the Big Woods of Arkansas, but it has a display drum that is very different from the display drum of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. A Pileated Woodpecker’s display drum has 11-30 beats per burst, with a burst usually lasting for 0.7-3.0 seconds.

However, in rare cases, Pileated Woodpeckers may randomly knock twice in a row while tapping on wood to look for food. Additionally, Pileated Woodpeckers sometimes make a double rap sound, associated with mating or prospective nest sites.

This double tap recording of a Pileated Woodpecker is from the Macaulay Library's sound archives. The double tap was preceded and followed by typical drumming sounds. By examining the entire sequence of sounds, rather than double knocks in isolation, researchers can determine whether double raps were produced by Pileated Woodpeckers.

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