Pileated Woodpecker Versus Balsam Fir

When we checked out the tree in April after the snow was melted, we discovered that Chisel wasn’t done with the fir in January.

Ten woodpecker holes in base and on above ground roots of balsam fir tree.

Who knew that a woodpecker would peck this much wood?

It is always fun to hear a woodpecker in the woods and try to locate him. Most often, this is not an easy task. This winter Pete spotted a Pileated Woodpecker, let’s call him “Chisel.” He was first discovered because the wood chips were flying and the red comb on his head was bobbing up and down furiously. Check out my original post to get in on the beginning of Chisel’s story — Opportunistic Animals’ Winter Eating. There is even a video of him with the wood chips going every which way.

Ten woodpecker holes in base of balsam fir trunk and above ground roots. Also, lots of wood chips on the ground.We were surprised to see Chisel had put holes in the above ground root of a balsam fir in our yard. This occurred in January and we resigned ourselves that we would probably lose this tree. That’s ok though.

When we checked out the tree in April after the snow was melted, we discovered that Chisel wasn’t done with the fir in January. He continued to look for food and it appears he even made a nice size nesting hole. Woodpecker hole in trunk that is large enough to nest in.We don’t know if he used it or if some other creature used the shelter. Also, there was even more wood shrapnel at the base of the balsam. I hope he found lots of food for all that work!

Close up of two woodpecker holes in above ground root of fir tree.Toward the end of April, Chisel was spotted in the yard on the opposite side of the house. This time he was hunting higher up in the trees but looked pretty healthy. I sure hope so after all his feeding. We’ll keep an eye out for him and see if we can spot him or his hunting evidence. We certainly wish Chisel happy hunting and hope he will frequent our yard and pick on a few of the already dead trees.

A downed fir tree riddled with woodpecker holes.

In a different neck of the wood, we found this downed fir tree riddled with woodpecker holes. The tree is horizontal to the ground and offers easy pickin’s as evidenced by the many holes.Close up of downed fir tree riddled with woodpecker holes.

Looks like Chisel’s cousins had happy hunting on this tree.

Next time your walking in the woods, keep your ears open for that rat-a-tat-tat sound of beak on wood.

Author: Cindy Avery

Retired from education, Cindy still likes to learn and enjoys sharing useful and unique information. She hopes to encourage others in their learning journey.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *