A Little Love & Respect for the Woodpecker

Our Garden Visitor

Having just moved to our country abode, I was delighted to find an array of birds visiting our garden on a regular basis. I had great fun setting up a couple of bird baths and a bird table with all the usual nuts and seeds.

One day, I was surprised to find a woodpecker pecking away at the peanuts. He too turned out to be a regular and visited most days.

All the other birds seemed to accept him just fine. Surprisingly, even as the woodpecker pecked away at those peanuts for what seemed like hours a day, there seemed to be continual peace and harmony in our garden.

Naturally, I gave our new woodpecker visitor a name - a little obvious I know but it just had to be “Woody”.

Now, if you ask someone what their favourite bird is, the chances are they would return with something cute, such as a robin, sparrow or finch. Or perhaps the admiration would go to the majesty and gracefulness of an eagle or a hawk.

Nobody ever seems to say “It’s the woodpecker for me, what a bird - all that head-banging repetitive stuff and crazy antics”.

However, I have new reasons for giving a little love and respect to the woodpecker. I recently saw a TV programme about the life of this bird and it would seem I had misunderstood and underrated the woodpecker completely. In fact, I am now quite in awe of the incredible hard working and stressful life he lives.

Woodpeckers spend exhausting hours a day creating their own acorn tree, also called a granary. Having watched a woodpecker in action, you can quite understand why it sometimes gets a bit too much for them.


This woodpecker looks quite stressed!

The Woodpecker's Acorn Tree

When the woodpecker has finally drilled his holes, he has to collect his acorns. If the woodpecker is collecting the acorns at the right time of year, they should be in abundance, so this part of the procedure is perhaps a little easier for our woodpecker.

I get twitchy just thinking about the next stage. It needs careful planning and patience!

The woodpecker collects the acorn and takes it back to his drilled acorn tree. He now has to find a hole the right size for the acorn. Eventually, the holes are filled and there is a bit of respite. That is, until the acorns start drying out and then the work really begins. As the acorn dries out, the hole is now too big and so the acorn must be moved to a smaller hole.

This is when the maintenance work starts.

This is frantic work for the woodpecker and it requires a significant amount of the bird’s time. He is constantly moving the acorns from one hole to another and drilling more holes as and when necessary.

Now that I have learnt about the exhausting, stressful life of a woodpecker I welcome him with open arms to a more restful and relaxing time here in my garden. The peanuts here are at his disposal and there is definitely no maintenance work for him to endure!

If Woody wants to call this ‘his space’ then that’s fine by me.

Great Woodpecker Video

More by this Author


Comments 66 comments

carredsal profile image

carredsal 5 years ago from New Jersey

Great Hub....I love woodpeckers :)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

I occasionally see a woodpecker working on the trees in our yard and our neighbor's yard. Once I saw him sitting on the side of our birdbath having a drink. Unusual to see him on the side of the birdbath...just like on a tree...instead of on the top.


Esmeowl12 profile image

Esmeowl12 5 years ago from Sevierville, TN

I love woodpeckers, too. They are so industrious and fun to watch. Thanks for a great hub. Voted up!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi carredsal, it's nice to see you here, and it's good to hear the woodpecker has some fans!! thanks for visiting and your comments.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Peggy W, it sounds as though you have a regular 'woody' as well! woody has been to visit us again today, I just love watching him! thanks for calling in and leaving your comments.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Esmeowl12 I'ts nice to meet you, I agree woodpeckers are great fun to watch, I didn't realise just how hard they worked! thanks for dropping by and your comments, it's very much apprecitated.


stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Animals, and birds are so much fun to watch. Our yard is full of rabbits that come in the evenings. Sometimes the woodpeckers work on our tall pine trees. We have possums, and racoons visiting too. God Bless you. Wonderful hub.


DuchessDuCaffeine profile image

DuchessDuCaffeine 5 years ago from United States of America

Hello Movie Master :)

I love those crazy birds! We have a young one near our property and he would wake us up every morning at about 6:10 a.m. because he was pecking at the wooden trim on our house. I would get up, go to the window and clear my throat. He would pause, look at me as if to say, "Oh. I thought you were asleep." Then, he'd turn back to his work and I'd go back to bed for another twenty minutes. After a few mornings, he determined the house to be a dud and we saw him intently pecking away on a promising old maple tree.

My Mom is English. Growing up, my sister and I were very fortunate to have been able to visit my Nana every other summer. It was there that I discovered my favorite bird. The raven-- especially the ones residing at the Tower of London. I was completely enamored with the idea of being the Beefeater charged with their care. It had to be the best job ever, except for the groom who got to take care of Queen Elizabeth's horse.

You can imagine my crushing disappointment when a boy at the park told me, "Don't be daft, girl. E'nt nobody Beefeaters but men."

Your hub was so much fun to read and I'm going to set up a feeder like the one in your picture to see if any of the "locals" want to come over for a peck at lunchtime. Poor things, I had no idea they had so many daily tasks.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi stars439, your garden sounds like so much fun! thank you for visiting mine and leaving your lovely comments, I really do appreciate it.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Duchess, it's nice to meet you, thank you for visiting my garden, I love the story of your young woodpecker and I'm was quite surprised to read your favourite bird is the raven! yes,it's certainly hard work being a woodpecker, they deserve a rest on a garden peanut feeder!! thank you for your comments, have a great day!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

What a great Hub. Woodpeckers are so neat to watch and like all birds, work so hard. Thanks for this fun and lovely Hub.


timorous profile image

timorous 5 years ago from Me to You

I used to see downy woodpeckers and red-headed woodpeckers where I used to live in Toronto. I don't see or hear them around here much, even though I'm fairly close to a river. They're lovely birds though.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Hyphenbird, glad you enjoyed the hub, I agree woodpeckers are great fun to watch, it seems they have quite a fan club!! thanks for visiting and your comments and have a great day!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi timorous, a couple of days ago I saw a green woodpecker in the orchard, that got me really excited, it's a big bird and beautiful! naturally it had flown off by the time I got the camera! it's great to see you here, thanks for visiting and your comments, It means a lot to me. Have a great day and wonderful weekend!


Dexter Yarbrough profile image

Dexter Yarbrough 5 years ago from United States

Hi Movie Master! Thanks to you, I have a newfound respect for woodpeckers. I thought they were doing all that head-banging just to be irritable! Great hub and valuable information. Voted up, up and away!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Dexter, You are so funny! that's exactly what I thought, the head banging stuff was just crazy behaviour, when in fact they were working their little socks off!! so they have earnt a little love and respect from us certainly and all their other fans here! love the new avatar by the way!!! thanks for calling in and the chat, have a great weekend!


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Beautiful. Not many woodpeckers here. I enjoyed your Hub. Thanks.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi mck, thanks for calling in, you can share my woodpecker anytime! really appreciate your comments, have a wonderful weekend!


naturegirl7 profile image

naturegirl7 5 years ago from South Louisiana

Interesting hub.

Woodpeckers are my 2nd most favorite bird. They are fascinating to watch. In the years after Hurricane Katrina, we had a woodpecker explosion. The large number of broken off dead trees provided plenty of nesting sites.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi naturegirl7, thank you so much for visiting and your interesting comments, we don't see many of them here in the UK, so 'Woody' is a bit special! take care and have a great day!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

What a cute hub. I like woodpeckers, too. They're such quirky birds. I'm glad you enjoy Woody's company. :)


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Om Paramapoonya, I found out woodpeckers are great characters and I look forward to Woody visiting the garden now, thank you for visiting also and your lovely comments and I hope you have a fabulous day!


Kamalesh050 profile image

Kamalesh050 5 years ago from Sahaganj, Dist. Hooghly, West Bengal, India

I have very much enjoyed the hub, it is Fantastic and educative too. I have seen woodpeckers once in a while

and wondered how could they be so clever and hardworking. Yes you are very right, they do deserve our love and respect. You have presented the hub beautifully - thank you for sharing.

Have a nice weekend.

All Best Wishes,

Kamalesh


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Kamalesh, I am definitely a fan of woodpeckers now, I had no idea how hard they worked, so they have certainly earned some love and respect from me!

Thanks for visiting, you always brighten my day with your comments and support thank you, I hope you are enjoying your weekend, take care.


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 5 years ago from Lagos

Great work MM, this piece is informative. The woodpecker is really a hard working bird. A worthy tribute!


Cousin Fudd profile image

Cousin Fudd 5 years ago from From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina

Great hub and the woodpecker is an amazing bird.


SJmorningsun25 5 years ago

Oh my! I had no idea. I loved the Woody Woodpecker cartoons as a kid, and get very excited anytime I happen to hear the telltale knocking of a nearby "Woody." Thanks for sharing--such interesting info! It's not easy being a woodpecker. Voted up!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi ubanichijioke, all birds have busy lives, but it seems the Woodpeckers life is an exhausting one!

Many thanks for reading and your comments, it's much appreciated, take care. MM


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Cousin Fudd, it's nice to meet you - thank you for dropping by and your comments, glad you enjoyed it! best wishes MM


Derdriu 5 years ago

Movie Master: Thank you for your finely illustrated and humorously organized article. Sometimes, the downy, pileated and red-bellied woodpeckers here appear to help me and the squirrels in collecting our favorite treat by working at the trunk exactly where the black walnuts seem most reluctant to leave the tree. But then maybe the trunk higher up is scored with acorn stores!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Derdriu, I was amazed to find out just how hard the woodpeckers work to build up and organise their store of nuts and acorns!

It sounds as though woodpeckers are regulars where you live, to see one here is quite a treat!

Many thanks for your comments, take care MM


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 5 years ago from USA

We always enjoy watching woodpeckers, whether it's the Downy woodpecker at our feeder or the pileated woodpecker high in the evergreen trees. I loved your video of the acorn woodpeckers! They are really industrious! Enjoyed your hub and your great photographs, too!


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 5 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Stephanie, it's so seldom we see woodpeckers here, we get quite excited when one visits the garden.

It sounds as though you see them regularly, I'm envious!

Thank you for visiting and your comments, best wishes MM


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Growing up in New England I have always heard the pecking very early in the morning! I have been trying to isolate the wood peckers for a photo opportunity but find them very evasive! I just can't seem to find where the pecking is coming from. My brother in law has no problem-they are always pecking on the walls of his 200 year old barn and he has to patch the holes quite often! This is a great tribute to our feathered friends! Voted up and SHARING!

JSMatthew~


MP50 4 years ago

I just love all bird life more Hubs please, voted up.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

I guess I had never seen your woodpecker hub. I also love woodpeckers and we get many in our yard including the pileated woodpecker.


radhikasree profile image

radhikasree 4 years ago from Mumbai,India

I love watching woodpeckers when they drill the trees. I learned more about them from this hub. Voted up as awesome.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

I had not taken the time to watch the videos the first time I visited. That second one is fascinating! Thanks for finding and including them into your hub on woodpeckers.


tsmog profile image

tsmog 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

How interesting. I am in awe of these critters, now. A fantastic, informative hub. How fortunate to have 'Woody' in the neighborhood too! Motivated (just now) I checked discovering we have maybe a dozen types here, but they're more in the mountainous areas - darn! On second thought thank you for providing motivation for a hike while on vacation in Feb, MM. I'll be sharing this with friends , , ,remember to smile as always and have fun, fun, fun, , ,


tlmcgaa70 profile image

tlmcgaa70 4 years ago from south dakota, usa

greta hub. my favorite small bird is the mockingbird, but i am gonna have to add "woody" to that. oh yeah and the amazing chipping sparrow. voted up and across. shared on twitter/facebook


The Dirt Farmer profile image

The Dirt Farmer 4 years ago from United States

A delightful hub. It was awesome to "see" the woodpecker at work through your words. Vote up definitely!


vasantha  T k profile image

vasantha T k 4 years ago from Bangalore

Nice hub on woodpecker. Watching birds is interesting and enjoyable. Parrots and pigeons are common in my place. I love watching them pecking at the berries or eating away the grains put for drying on the terrace .Voted up.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi JSMatthew, it's early morning and I have just been out in the garden and could hear 2 woodpeckers, but like you could not place where they were! 'Woody' still visits the garden, but I just cannot get a photo of him!

Thank you for your comments and sharing - it's much appreciated, best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi MP50, so pleased you enjoyed this, many thanks for your comments and the inspiration to write more! best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi moonlake, I envy you having woodpeckers in your yard, we hear them here but seldom see them, I always enjoy watching 'Woody' when he visits!

Thank you for your comments, best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello radhikasree, it's nice to meet you, I'm so pleased you enjoyed reading and thank you for your comments and votes, best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Peggy, thank you for visiting again, I love that video - the woodpecker works incredibly hard to produce the acorn tree, it's quite fascinating!

Many thanks for your comments, enjoy your day, take care, Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello tsmog, it's always good to see you, I hope all is well with you.

A dozen types of woodpeckers! wow, it's a shame they are such an evasive bird, I could watch them all day!

Have a good time on your hike, maybe we will get to hear about it in an upcoming hub?

All the very best to you, Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi timcgaa70, the mockingbird is beautiful unfortunately we don't have them in the UK. I'm so pleased you enjoyed reading, many thanks for your comments, votes and sharing, i't's much appreciated, best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi The Dirt Farmer, Thank you for visiting, your comments and votes, they are much appreciated, enjoy your day, best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi vasantha, how wonderful parrots on your terrace, I am quite envious!

Thank you for stopping by and your comments, have a wonderful day, best wishes Lesley


billips profile image

billips 4 years ago from Central Texas

I really enjoyed this hub - I grew up around the red-headed woodpecker, and they certainly do merit our love and respect - I still smile when I hear the rat a tat tat - B.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi billips, thank you for visiting and your comments, I too love listening to that rat a tat tat! They work so hard!

Best wishes Lesley


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

So truly beautiful and I am so glad I came across it.

An up up and away here and I wish you a wonderful weekend.

Eddy.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hello Eddy, I'm so pleased you enjoyed reading and thank you for your comments, have a great weekend too and see you soon, best wishes Lesley


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Very interesting hub! I never know there was an "Acorn Woodpecker". Our woodpeckers here are looking for insects. This was very interesting and I loved your pictures! Voted up and interesting! Have a great day! :)


tsmog profile image

tsmog 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

Hello Lesley! At therapy yesterday I sat on the couch by the window, usually I choose to sit next to the door.Dun'no why? I had a feeling. Almost at the beginning of the session this red-headed dude arrived. A Nuttall Woodpecker. Soon the mate was there too. I think they were looking for nesting property, since the time for eggs is late March through mid June. The office is on the third floor, so they were up high in the trees. I thought of your hub . . .

My therapist looked it up in a book, but guessed wrong. Then she tried to focus me back on therapy. I giggled saying, "this is therapy :)


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi tsmog, I think you should always sit by the window - that's got to be a better seat than by the door!

I love watching the woodpecker and when he visits the garden, he always has my full attention!

Many thanks for stopping by again, it's always good to see you, hope all is well with you, take care and best wishes Lesley


unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

I never seen a woodpecker before.,just on picture. well, love to see one someday!


snowdrops profile image

snowdrops 4 years ago from The Second Star to the Right

Wow, woodpeckers. They're really nature's wonder.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi unknown spy, woodpeckers are beautiful birds and they work so hard!

I'm so pleased you enjoyed reading!

Take care and best wishes Lesley


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi snowdrops, yes I certainly have a new found respect for the woodpecker!

Many thanks for stopping by and your comments.

Best wishes Lesley


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Lesley-I enjoyed this hub about the woodpecker primarily because I saw one at our home in NC. He flew around our deck pecking at the trees and now I know why. Thanks for sharing.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Denise, I had never seen a woodpecker before we moved here, now we have regular visitors.

And I hadn't realised what an interesting and hard working bird they are, I'm so pleased you enjoyed reading, many thanks for your comments, best wishes Lesley


RhondaHumphreys1 profile image

RhondaHumphreys1 4 years ago from Michigan

What a wonderful hub. I have never really had the opportunity to see a woodpecker in the wild until this year. We move to a house on the lake and we have had downy,red bellied and northern flickers. Your hub made me appreciate them more. Great pictures too


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom Author

Hi Rhonda, you've moved to a house on a lake - that sounds lovely!

And woodpeckers for neighbours too, I'm quite envious!

Thank you for your comments, enjoy your day, best wishes Lesley

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working