A daft woodpecker

What the hell is it doing?


  1. claudia baker
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Or maybe too much covfefe?

    • sensorrhea
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      “Covfefe” isn’t a woodpecker thing, is it’s a giant pecker thing.

      • Diane G.
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        I thought it was a tiny pecker.

        • Martin Knowles
          Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

          Good one.

          • claudia baker
            Posted June 23, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink


            • Mike
              Posted June 24, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink


      • David Coxill
        Posted June 23, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Snigger snigger.

  2. Gregory Kusnick
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Not nearly enough debris on the ground for that amount of excavation. So I think the woodpecker is just browsing for bugs in an already rotten tree.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      He could have been working on it for days or weeks or longer, and the homeowner kept cleaning up.

      I think he’s mining a rich colony of grubs.

      • Gregory Kusnick
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        Sure, but the point is that the woodpecker had help. There’d be no point digging that deep unless something else was already chewing up the wood.

      • Posted June 22, 2017 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        I’m thinking… condos!

      • rickflick
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        Since the pileated woodpecker is mainly an ant eater, it’s likely part of the tree is perforated and softened by an ant infestation. The bird is probably following the “vain” of ants. This hole might have been completed in hours or in just a couple of days working part time. I’ve seen square holes in trees the size of European refrigerators.

        • W.Benson
          Posted June 22, 2017 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

          ‘Mere naturalists’ can mop the floor with “real scientists” who can only scratch their heads. rickflick seems on mark.

  3. BobTerrace
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Looking, and probably finding, bugs. I had a woodpecker peck at a weeping willow tree for months. It had rot and bugs and a windy day in the fall knocked part of it down, barely missing the house. I had to take the rest of that willow and one next to it down.

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    animated version with sound effect:

  5. Rita
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    I once had a tree removed because it was too close to the garage, and though it looked normal on the outside, it was full of carpenter ants. Maybe this is the case here.

  6. BJ
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    “What the hell is he doing?”

    Cocaine, clearly.

  7. rickflick
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    It looks like a pileated woodpecker.

    They are the biggest woodpecker in the US. Their main prey is carpenter ants. They leave a unique rectangular holes in the wood.


    Also see: Tara Tanaka has clips on Vimeo.

    • Posted June 22, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      I have seen Taras’ videos of these woodpeckers. It was pretty awesome how hard they pound their heads into solid wood. But the wood gives away.

      • Posted June 23, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink

        There’s a nesting pair across the street from us this year (we have them locally all the time; but this is the closest they’ve ever nested). You can’t see them; but boy, can you hear them! Brrrrraaaappp!

  8. koseighty
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    And fuck this tree in particular.

  9. GBJames
    Posted June 22, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    Ain’t computers grand?

  10. Posted June 22, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    …s/he is daft and i’m a big laughing fan. I’m not sure about the tree heart surgery though, exposed to attack by all manner of small creatures i would think.

    • JohnnieCanuck
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

      If the new residents are on the woodpecker’s menu then that’s to its advantage. If not then there’s no selection pressure on the woodpecker once it has gotten all the ants it can.

      Now about the black bears around here. If they wouldn’t break down all the branches on our apple trees when they get in there ahead of us, there’d be more apples for them next year. Somehow that’s not how they see it.

      • Posted June 22, 2017 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        I see… well not really, i don’t have to contend with bears or apple trees for that matter. Trees (ferns, palms) on the other hand i have a great appreciation of.
        For one, they hold up the side of the hill i live on and of course for me anyhow (i live in NZ) they are the living homes and feeding place of our endemic and native birds, forest gecko of which i try to help as much as i can.

  11. Hempenstein
    Posted June 23, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    That’s a silver maple the woodpecker’s working on. I have the same view of them that PCC[E] has of oatmeal raisins, and could use a woodpecker like that on some that I’m getting rid of here.

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