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Old 2020-12-27, 16:51   #177
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Originally Posted by storm5510 View Post
Back in the '90's, this type of woodpecker killed two big water-maple trees in my dad's yard. I imagine the trees were in the process of dying. Once cut down, the woodpeckers chipped what was left nearly a foot into the ground. They never touched the Sugar-Maples.
I assume "water maple" is the silver maple, Acer saccharinum, which is well adapted to swampy areas. When I was a kid, one next door neighbor had a large one in his back yard. After we moved, our new next door neighbor had one growing in his front yard, in the middle of a group of barberry shrubs. It had been repeatedly cut down and had grown back, with multiple trunks, and was a rather spindly tree maybe 20 feet tall. When I drove by our old house maybe 15 years after we'd moved, the shrubs were gone and the maple had grown into quite a large tree. Silver maples were touted as being fast-growing (which they are), and were rather commonly planted. But they have weak branches and soft wood. Not good to have near a structure. They also don't live all that long. I reckon that, as you say, the trees you mention were already on their way out when the Pileated Woodpeckers got to work. Besides building nests, they will also excavate huge cavities in the quest for wood-boring insects. Apparently Pileated Woodpeckers have a special affinity for eating carpenter ants. (Other woodpeckers also seem to like ants. I've seen Flickers standing on the ground near columns of ants, just picking them off one by one, for quite some time.)

Sugar maples, Acer saccharum, live somewhat longer than silver maples, and have much harder wood. Sugar maple (and also the closely related Black maple, Acer nigrum) is known as "hard maple" or "rock maple." Sugar maple and Black maple wood have long used for cutting boards, butcher blocks, and work benches. Sugar maples also have spectacular fall foliage.
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Old 2020-12-27, 18:20   #178
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I assume "water maple" is the silver maple...

Sugar maples, Acer saccharum, live somewhat longer than silver maples...
My dad, and his brothers, always called them "Water Maples." My granddad built the house where I grew up in 1920. He set the saplings which eventually grew into the large trees I remember as a child. The family sold the property in 2013 after my dad passed away. One of my granddad's Sugar Maples was still standing. It would have been 93 years old at the time.
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Old 2020-12-28, 00:29   #179
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Eyeing eagles: Winter is a perfect time to get outside, beat cabin fever and go birding
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Without a doubt, avoiding winter cabin fever during a pandemic is tough, but bird watching promises relief, according to Bob Bryerton, Forest Preserve District of Will County program coordinator at Plum Creek Nature Center.

As a naturalist, Bryerton has been watching and counting birds for the last 25 years. He highly recommends adopting the pastime this winter while options for entertainment remain limited.

"Winter is a great time to start birding because you can get familiar with just 10 or 15 species," he said. "That way, when warmer weather comes and more birds arrive, you can tell them apart."
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Old 2020-12-28, 00:43   #180
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Old 2020-12-28, 06:48   #181
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In Houston members of my family were aware more than one case in which Red Bellied Woodpeckers seemed to get carried away with nest cavity and tunneled to a second opening. Maybe the insect picking were just too good.

My parents had a small, simple greenhouse where they could put more delicate thing in cold weather. It was built from 2x4s and heavy plastic sheeting. The wood was inhabited by carpenter ants. One day I was outside and heard knocking or tapping sounds intermittently. I discovered that a Downy Woodpecker was clinging to one of the boards (vertical surface!) It would tap around various places and then stick its beak into one of the ant holes for a while. Then it would more tapping. It was getting ants all agitated, then slurping them up with its long tongue.

This Downy, or one like him had a favorite spot high up on a tree where a substantial limb had be removed. This flat area of wood was his drumming site.
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Old 2020-12-28, 17:14   #182
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There is nothing like being awakened in the early morning by a woodpecker hammering on a the end of a wooden support for a metal roof.
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Old 2020-12-28, 18:03   #183
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storm5510 View Post
There is nothing like being awakened in the early morning by a woodpecker hammering on a the end of a wooden support for a metal roof.
Being woken in the 1 to 2 am range by the police pounding on your front door beats that. I speak from personal experience.
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Old 2020-12-28, 19:15   #184
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Quote:
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There is nothing like being awakened in the early morning by a woodpecker hammering on a the end of a wooden support for a metal roof.
Flickers are the most prolific "drummers" I've heard. Late winter and early spring is when they go at it, so I figure it's Mr. Flicker staking out territory or courting Ms. Flicker. They're one of the larger woodpeckers. And they go for sheet metal.

Probably the loudest I ever heard was one that had found the end of a gutter where a downspout joined it. Outdoors, that was amazingly loud, almost like a rivet gun.

Flickers drumming on the caps of metal furnace stacks don't sound as loud - at least, not when you're outside. But if you're inside a house and a flicker is drumming on the furnace stack, it sounds like somebody's taking a jackhammer to the roof.
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Old 2020-12-29, 16:53   #185
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
Flickers are the most prolific "drummers" I've heard. Late winter and early spring is when they go at it, so I figure it's Mr. Flicker staking out territory or courting Ms. Flicker. They're one of the larger woodpeckers. And they go for sheet metal.

Probably the loudest I ever heard was one that had found the end of a gutter where a downspout joined it. Outdoors, that was amazingly loud, almost like a rivet gun.

Flickers drumming on the caps of metal furnace stacks don't sound as loud - at least, not when you're outside. But if you're inside a house and a flicker is drumming on the furnace stack, it sounds like somebody's taking a jackhammer to the roof.
Good grief! No wonder it sounded like a war-zone inside and upstairs where I slept.

Something I saw quite a few years ago: A woodpecker's brain is surrounded by a liquid which acts as a cushion and keeps their brain from slamming into their skull. The brain floats on its flexible stem which allows for movement in any direction. Evolution finds a way.
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Old 2020-12-30, 11:28   #186
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Putman & Robin.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-kent-53781320
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Old 2021-01-19, 01:38   #187
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A juvenile Bald Eagle. If the fox, coyote, or whatever, knows what is best for him, he will keep right on moving.
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