Quite loud! They remind of when I was growing up and my parents would take us to the Catskill Game Farm. They had peacocks that roamed the Game Farm and when they called, they were so loud! I used to compare their calls to that of the large tropical birds. The pileated woodpeckers are just as loud and “tropical-sounding.” My wife and I also brought both of our children and our grandson to the Game Farm. But, the owners eventually got too old to keep it running and there were no buyers to be found, so the animals and birds were sent to various zoos, game farms (amusement- and/or educational- types), and the rides to amusement parks and it finally closed down. At least there’s the new zoo/park that just opened a few years ago (“April” the giraffe and her baby being born was live-streamed on YouTube not too long ago) and is only about an hour or so away. My wife wants to bring our granddaughters there this summer.
Getting back to the pileated woodpeckers, one found that a pine tree across from my son’s house was infested with carpenter ants and decided to have a go at them. I watched it as it literally torn the base of the tree apart, leaving big chunks of it on the ground. That tree will come down soon! At the end of my son’s road is a house with many old trees around it. Carpenter ants had gotten into one of the trees and were there for quite some time. A pileated woodpecker found them and torn off half the side of the tree from about 5’/1,5m off the ground and up to about 12’/3,6m up. There were pieces of the tree on the ground that it tore off that were nearly 18"/45,7cm long! Within 3 months that section of the tree broke off during some high winds and ended up leaning against the tree next to his driveway - parallel to the road. He had to have a man come with a 65’/19,8m “cherry picker” and take down the rest of the tree. The tree was over 80’/24m high. Now he has to plant something else that will suck up the water as that is a low area of his property and after a heavy rain, water lays on the surface for a week. Now it will be even deeper. But to the woodpecker’s credit, if it hadn’t “opened” that tree, no one would have known it had hundreds of tunnels through it and it would have come down anyway. If the wind was blowing from a different direction, it could have landed across the road and the electrical lines. Good birdie!