[BIRDCHAT] Woody Woodpecker (fwd)

ian paulsen ipaulsen at krl.org
Mon Jan 7 21:01:37 PST 2002

This came from birdchat!!

Ian Paulsen
Bainbridge Island, WA, USA
ipaulsen at krl.org
A.K.A.: "Birdbooker"
"Rallidae all the way"

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002 17:56:30 -0800
From: Joseph Morlan <jmorlan at ccsf.org>
To: ian paulsen <ipaulsen at KRL.ORG>
Subject: Re: [BIRDCHAT] Woody Woodpecker

On Mon, 7 Jan 2002 16:49:46 -0800, ian paulsen <ipaulsen at KRL.ORG>

> The question has been asked by a non-birder wondering what kind of

>woodpecker Woody Woodpecker is?


I found the following on the web which pretty much establishes that
Woody was inspired by the Acorn Woodpecker. However, the cartoon
character does not actually resemble any known species of woodpecker.
Incidentally, the "worm theory" described below is as fictional as the

Quoted from: http://classictv.about.com/library/weekly/aa042700a.htm

In a Los Angeles Times obituary (Wednesday, March 23, 1994) by staff
writer David E. Brady, he mentions how Lantz and his new bride were on
their 1941 honeymoon when inspiration came for one of his most popular
cartoons of all time. He quotes Lantz describing how the Woody
Woodpecker character came into existence. "We kept hearing this knock,
knock, knock on the roof," Lantz told the Los Angeles Times in 1992.
"And I said to Gracie, 'What the hell is that?' So I went out and
looked, and here's this woodpecker drilling holes in the shingles. And
we had asbestos shingles, not wood. So, to show you how smart these
woodpeckers are, they'd peck a hole in the asbestos shingles and put
in an acorn. A worm would develop in the acorn, and a week later the
woodpecker would come back, get the acorn and fly away, letting out
this noisy scream as he flew away." Gracie Lantz suggested adapting
the bird as a cartoon character, although her husband later admitted
he was skeptical of its potential."

Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA 94044: mailto:jmorlan at ccsf.org
California Birding, mystery birds: http://fog.ccsf.org/~jmorlan/
California Bird Records Committee: http://www.wfo-cbrc.org/cbrc/

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