Apr 05-01

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2001: April: Apr 05-01
Bird handiwork in the woods    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Jonathan Hopper

By WhiskeyCreek on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 09:38 pm:

Looks like the work of a Pileated Woodpecker - That's the large crow sized bird that the cartoon character Woody WoodPecker resembles - they really make the chips and large chunks of wood fly when working on a tree. See Page 265 of Stokes Field Guide to Birds or Page 646 of The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds (Eastern Region.) I enjoy watching them quite frequently in my back yard here in the vicinity of Wilmington NC
(Former Temporary -3 year-Yooper)

By May Flowers on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 10:08 pm:

Naw, this would be the work of Gonga, Giant Jungle Monarch, at work again, on another Spring flute. Listen for Gonga this summer when the windows are open.

By EH in Indiana on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 10:45 pm:

That bird was hungry! :)

By E.K., Oregon on Thursday, April 5, 2001 - 11:05 pm:

What a wonderful photo.

You sure have a lot of snow yet this late...

By mike, tx on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 03:04 am:

Looks to me like the works of the...Bionic Bird! Half cousin to the Energizer Bunny. He must not mind working overtime. Then again when your outside in the UP and you love the outdoors as much as I its like not even working at all.

By MW MI. on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 06:55 am:

Caption asks what kind of tree. Everybody is answering what kind of bird did it. I think its a DEAD tree. Definetely past the stage of good veneer.

By Walt, Ohio on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 07:34 am:

The forester says sugar maple, this particular specimen looks like it never had a chance for veneer. Just as well, it apperently raised quite a brood of insects for the pileated woodpecker. Goes to show that all of God's little creatures has a special purpose, even if it isn't apparent early in life.

By RJW a native yooper on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 07:41 am:

I say its a maple but it could be a aspen (popal) tree as the yoopers would call it, but there are a lot of aspen (popal) trees surrounding it.

By Wendy IL on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 08:38 am:

Last week when we were up doing our last
snowmobiling of the year, we ran across a
woodpecker in the woods that had bore a hole
clear through the base of a tree! It had to have
been a good 18'' high. We stopped to look
because the wood chips were flying
everywhere & it was an awesome sight!

By Terry - Royal Oak on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 08:48 am:

Just Great! You had to remind me. Last December we found a cylindrical hole in our soffit that looks a lot like the holes in this tree. Where is this tree? I want to bring it to my property so that Woody leaves my soffit alone. With all of the bettles and houseflies in the house, which Woody can hear, he is trying to make our house look like the tree. Only in the Keweenaw!

How much snow is left on the ground? I need to get up there and repair the soffit, cut down this tree and bring it to my property, turn on the water, do some spring cleaning, etc., etc., etc..

By jj greenville,mi on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 12:33 pm:

to everything there is a season,and a time to every purpose under the heavens.
what a wonderful amount of thoughts,memories, stories and comments from the photo subject of an old tree in the forest in "GOD"S country". ____

By Bill P ,Ca. on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 06:42 pm:

That's probably the same woodpecker that bored his way through the frame of a large window in the dining hall at Gitche Gumee. Very agressive birds up there. How does Jonathan find all this interesting stuff?

By Schuder, Retired Entomologist on Friday, April 6, 2001 - 06:44 pm:

I agree, this is undoubtably the work of the Pileated woodpecker. They tear a tree apart hunting insect, usually the larvae. Their favorite food is carpenter ants that excavate large cavaties in the heartwood of the tree. The species is inconseqential just as long as it is the host for the desired insect food. There are several trees along Tamarack Waterworks road that look like the photo. There are a number of pileated woopeckers in the area. One summer one of the males decided our aluminum TV antenna was a good sounding board for drumming and establshing his territory......couldn't sleep late as he was out drumming at daybreak.
These birds also occur in and near West Lafayette our winter home. Friends had the birds damage redwood siding and the railings of their deck. They tried scare rows, owls, artificial snakes all to no avail.

By Laura, MI on Saturday, April 7, 2001 - 10:30 am:

I recognize this tree. Last Sunday, as we took a drive along M-203, we saw it. The kids were amazed that a woodpecker could make such a big pile of shavings.

By ss in il. on Saturday, April 7, 2001 - 12:54 pm:

THIS damage is done by da kur-kur-bird----during below zero nights if listen you can hear him-or she-cry out ker-ker-ker--ist it's cold

By K.K. Yooper living in Troll land! on Saturday, April 7, 2001 - 05:05 pm:

Looks like the blair Witch has made its way to the U.P.! BeWare!

By Laura, MI on Saturday, April 7, 2001 - 07:18 pm:

Correction: The tree is on Airport/Arcadian road. The kids were sure to correct me. We were all over on Sunday, and I couldn't quite remember where we saw it.

By Nancy Nelson, WI on Saturday, April 7, 2001 - 10:10 pm:

That was one HUNGRY bird! Have seen trees almost that damaged at Fort Wilkins State Park, but this tops them all.

By Scot Turnquist Desert Hills AZ on Sunday, April 8, 2001 - 12:01 am:

No it's a pasty tree and something couldn't wait for it to bloom. Thats my theory and I'm sticking to it.

By jeff,MN on Monday, April 9, 2001 - 10:20 pm:

Now if you would just provide a sound file link for this spectacular hammer-head, Charlie, you could really give us the willies.
Once you've heard a Pileated sing you'll never forget it.

By Ken from da U P on Tuesday, April 10, 2001 - 02:35 pm:

Do you think he was trying to tap the tree for a spile? You know, for the sap to boil and make maple syrup. Although it does look like a popple tree. Have you ever heard one of those Pileated Woodpeckers fly past you in the woods? Whistling

By Troll down yonder on Thursday, April 12, 2001 - 11:36 am:

Is it just me or does it look like a deer hanging there if you don't look too close?????

By Carolyn Colburn, Maryland on Wednesday, April 10, 2002 - 06:30 am:

Great pic! My husband and I have many woodpeckers that come to our feeders, but never a Pileated Woodpecker! Question: I say that Woody the Woodpecker is styled after the Pileated, my husband says Lantz intended Woody to be a Red-headed woodpecker. Who is right???? There's a lobster dinner riding on this!

By Charlie at Pasty Central on Wednesday, April 10, 2002 - 07:21 am:

According to bird expert Howard Youth, you may both be right:


Fortunately, no real woodpeckers can match the destructive potential of animator Walter Lantz's impish cartoon character, "Woody Woodpecker," which debuted in 1940. Raucous and quite large, Woody was likely inspired by the pileated woodpecker, although his coloration more closely resembles that of the red-headed woodpecker. He certainly caused far more of a nuisance than either species.

By Selinda IL on Wednesday, April 7, 2004 - 09:18 pm:

Boy does this bring back memories of my first trip to the U.P. with my special guy. We were walking in the woods when we saw a tree similar to this and wondered what had caused this. Then my father brought out a bird book and showed us. What a great trip. :)

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