GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD)-Maranda got to experience firsthand one of the recent members at the John Ball Zoo.  Meet Norman the pileated woodpecker who was just a young bird when he arrived at the Zoo.  He was rescued and received by the John Ball Zoo, after having his tree cut down and breaking his leg.  Originally Norman was only supposed to be a guest at the John Ball Zoo, but because he was injured so young, he was not able to learn how to live in the wild.  Now he is part of the John Ball Zoo’s Ambassador Animal program to help teach the community about Wildlife. 

Here are some more fun facts about Norman!

Did you know that Pileated Woodpeckers are the largest woodpeckers in North America?  These birds range from about 16-19 inches, in comparison is about as big as a crow!

The word Pileated comes from the word “pileus”, which is a cap worn by the Romans. 

The Pileated Woodpeckers favorite food to eat is carpenter ants.  Carpenter ants make up 40 percent of their diet, but in some woodpeckers, it can be up to 97 percent of their diet.  Their long, barbed tongues can grab ants and any other bugs hiding below the surface of the bark. 

The best time to see Pileated Woodpeckers is during the Fall and Winer time!  While Pileated Woodpeckers usually eat bugs, during the winter they eat nuts and seeds.  They do this so they do not have to spend days high up in trees during the cold weather. 

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