ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – When pileated woodpeckers made a home in a utility pole in Atlantic Beach last year, their drilling damaged the pole to the point it had to be replaced.
But when lineworkers put in the new pole, they were careful to preserve the home of the woodpeckers, which are a protected species.
When the new pole went in at the corner of 10th Street and Seminole Road in Atlantic Beach in April 2021, the crew bolted the woodpeckers’ home to the new pole before cutting off the old pole.
The solution worked because the chicks in the nest are now grown and ready to emerge.
The pileated woodpecker, a big bird with a flaming crest, became rare in eastern North America with the clearing of forests in the 18th and 19th centuries but has increased in numbers since the beginning of the 20th century, according to Audubon.org.
Almost all birds native to the United States, including their nests and eggs, are protected by federal law, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reports. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act has been in place since 1918 to protect more than a thousand species of birds, including woodpeckers.