[Mnbird] Red Headed Woodpeckers

DONALD GRUSSING Owner cdrussin at centurylink.net
Mon Sep 2 11:50:31 CDT 2019


Interesting article on Red Headed Woodpeckers on Page 1 of today's StarTribune. Red Headed Woodpeckers nested in or near my yard in Minnetonka when we moved in in the mid-60s. The area was semi-rural then with lots of mature trees and shrubs. The "Reds" excavated their nest cavities in the mature Black Cherry trees. Never in an oak, though their were plenty of oak and elm trees around. I think the cherry trees were easier. 

They would engage in disputes with starlings which would try to evict them. But the "Reds" were in charge. At the feeders even the Blue Jays would scatter when the flashing white of the Red Headed woodpeckers dove in. 

But then some new people moved in next door. They cut down the cherry trees as they didn't like the purple stains the birds would leave on their cars when the cherries were ripe. Some of the trees were also starting to die back a bit. These people also mowed down many dense low growth thickets. The Red Headed woodpeckers left, and so did the Rose Breasted Grosbeaks and Brown Thrashers. 

Obviously suburbanization had something to do with it as well. But gosh they were fun to have around. 

Don Grussing 
Minnetonka 


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