[Mnbird] Pileated Behavior
Brian and Cindy Drill
bcdrill at charter.net
Thu Jun 10 07:46:59 CDT 2021
Good morning all. This morning I had a visit from a female Pileated
Woodpecker again, and I thought I would comment on the situation.
We had to remove a crab apple tree a few years back, and left about 8"
of stump above ground at the time. At first I used it to hold a
birdbath top, and eventually it began rotting enough that I could no
longer do that. Pileated woodpeckers--usually a male--that sometimes
visited my feeder near it began to chop away at the stump. We believe
it had carpenter ants, and the birds were finding lots of large larva to
feed on. Last fall it had rotted away enough that we took a maul to the
remainder of the stump and removed it to below ground level. Mulch was
raked over the top, and no sight of the stump remained.
Now I am getting a visit maybe once a week from a female Pileated. She
backs down the power pole on the boulevard, then flies to the front yard
where the stump was. She begins by excavating to the point that she can
find some remnants of the stump--at this point, making a trough in the
mulch and soil almost to the depth that her body is fully at ground
level. Then she begins to pound away below ground at the stump/roots,
searching for food. At times, her head is completely out of sight below
ground, like the famed Ostrich with the head buried. She works at this
for 10 to 15 minutes before moving on. In between her visits we rake
the soil/mulch back level, but she always returns to the spot. It is
facinating that these birds can remember where to find food even when
the source is no longer obvious.
Cindy in North Mankato
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