Wildlife Ways
Vicky Carder

Woody the Woodpecker

Posted Monday, April 14, 2014, at 11:28 AM
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  • Wow... Yes I would love to have him in my trees as well !

    I have and feed the much smaller ones and once in awhile the red bellied will appear. Yes, I remember woody woodpecker cartoons and a fav of mine too.

    -- Posted by haybar on Mon, Apr 14, 2014, at 12:51 PM
  • They can also damage a tree by there pecking.I had a Bradford Pear that had so many holes poked in it that the bark fell off, causing the tree to die. Well at least the Woodpecker Stew was good.Taste like a Sand Crane.

    -- Posted by kings11 on Mon, Apr 14, 2014, at 6:33 PM
  • We have seen a few pileated Woodies in our trees but I did not realize they create a rectangular-sized hole in the tree. I have seen holes with 4-5" diameters and thought it was theirs but maybe someone else was just redecorating (resizing) an existing hole.

    Or is the rectangular hole just for foraging purposes?

    There are numerous red-headed woodpeckers about the size of doves that visit our bird feeder and suet. Is that what they are officially called, Red-Headed"?

    By the way haybar, I want to thank you again for the heads up on hummers. We now have several and I would have felt real guilty had they shown up and not been fed on their trip to points beyond. It would be like going to a favorite restaurant, only to find it closed. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Apr 14, 2014, at 7:56 PM
  • have a pileated as fairly regular visitor in my backyard and often hear them when walking the neighbor hood; they are a magnificent bird. Steve, that might be a Red Bellied Woodpecker; they are speckled with reddish coloring on their underside and also red on the head. Red Headed Wood Peckers' entire head is solid bright red and body is black and white pattern.

    -- Posted by bentryder on Tue, Apr 15, 2014, at 1:54 PM
  • Steve - The woodpeckers you are seeing with red heads are most likely Red-bellied Woodpeckers. Redheaded woodpeckers are on the endangered species list and are fairly uncommon to see.

    Flickers, which are related to woodpeckers, also have red markings on their head, but it is not as intense as woodpeckers.

    Flickers are identified by the color of the feather shaft on the underside of the wing - there are red-shafted and yellow-shafted flickers.

    All woodpeckers and flickers nest in cavaities in trees, so the holes are used for foraging and nesting.

    They can damage trees but usually not to the point of killing them. Bradford pear trees are not known for their longevity. I would more suspect it may have been susceptible to insect or disease damage - the woody was probably taking advantage of this. I will defer the answers about tree issues to Steve!

    -- Posted by wildwoman on Wed, Apr 16, 2014, at 12:01 PM
  • First, I agree that the most likely reason the woodpecker was attacking the Bradford pear was because there was something there to eat.

    Secondly, you are right, it is NOT a red headed woodpecker. It has a red head but not the bold black and white. Not sure why it became the the red-belly woodpecker but i see a hint of orange near the belly and I guess "red-headed" monicker was already claimed by the red-headed woodpecker.

    I wonder if the bird that attacked the Bradford pear could have been a sapsucker?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Apr 17, 2014, at 9:34 AM
  • By the way, a sapsucker is a type of woodpecker, so....."six of one, a half dozen of the other". :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Apr 17, 2014, at 9:44 AM
  • BTW, Bradford Pear trees should be outlawed. The peckers are to be applauded for destroying them. They are invasive and literally do stink (as in fowl odor).

    -- Posted by bentryder on Fri, Apr 18, 2014, at 8:25 AM
  • Has anyone seen the hummers that reside here for summer?

    Last year they were all over, have not seen any this summer .

    I have feeders out since early march for the ones passing thru to north. Maybe they are delayed?

    -- Posted by haybar on Wed, May 28, 2014, at 6:13 PM
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