woodpecker damage

Walter Hafner (hafner@forwiss.tu-muenchen.de)
Thu, 2 Mar 95 08:46:50 +0100

> Tom, before you scare away the woodpecker(s) it might be interesting
> to study them a bit. Woodpecker robbery of pitcher plant contents!
> I've never heard of this before, and if it happens on your porch it
> may well happen in the wild. Might be nice if you could get a photo
> of the culprit in action and write up a litle article on it for CPN!

I never watched this behaviour with our German woodpeckers, despite I
left my VFTs and sarracenias outside for the whole summer.

But I watched a very inreresting - to CPs unrelated - behaviour: In our
garden there's a pear tree with a slightly rotten bark at one side. I
repeatedly watched the woodpecker hitting in the rotten bark (that is: a
small hole in the bark), stuffing something in, hiting again, stuffing
... After quite some time of observation I realized what it was doing:

It picked up a hazelnut from our hazelnut-tree, got back to the pear
tree, stuffed the nut in the hole, opened it and ate the nut. Then it
got another nut ...

I watched this behaviour the whole winter long. At the end of the winter
even a second woodpecker learned how to do it ... But since about a
month I didn't see any of them, so I suppose they went back to the
forest. And I'll chop the rotten pear tree this weekend anyway. :-)

To the person with the original woodpecker problems: I know it is ugly,
but I think chicken wire is the only reliable solution. :-(