A persistent Red-Headed Woodpecker bored a hole through a limb in our tree. The hole was so large that it weakened the limb which fell during a windstorm. We're thinking that wasn't his intentions. We're thinking he was just trying to create a home. He has created one, we think, and we always see his little red head sticking out from behind the branch. We can see him from our picture window. The broken branch, the red head and sharp beak always pointing in the same direction, like the photo above. This fellow, or gal, will chase squirrels and jays and any other bird away. I'm partial to the Red-Headed Woodpeckers. Yeah, yeah...they can wreak havoc among homeowners but there are safe methods available to discourage them from drilling holes in your house. They're raucous birds; very loud during their mating time, and any other time really. Their bright heads and stark black and white bodies stand out and just make me happy.
Maybe my love for these birds stem from growing up a Woody Woodpecker cartoon fan. I loved that silly bird. Seeing my first Red-Headed Woodpecker was sort of magical. One day it was a drawing in a book, an insolent cartoon character, the name of a drive-in burger joint, but the moment of my first sighting these beautiful birds became flesh and blood - a living creature.
Red-Headed Woodpeckers are on the Threatened list in Alabama. Like everywhere else, humans are encroaching deeper into their habitat and building more and more into natural areas because we want to live among the beauty of nature. (I can't think of a soul who wants to live by a landfill, do you?) Woodpeckers need dead and dying trees for their nests, and tend to create holes in trees - humans don't like that, but that's what woodpeckers do.
I'm not a woodpecker expert but I do appreciate their beauty and individual contributions to nature. We call our Red-Headed Woodpecker "The Sentry" because he's ever watchful, and always on guard. Perhaps we'll have little baby Red-Headed Woodpeckers this Spring. Stand by for any breaking RHW news...