[Tweeters] birds come and go

Dennis Paulson dennispaulson at comcast.net
Fri Dec 24 13:54:17 PST 2010

For the past several months, I have seen a male and female Pileated Woodpecker every day I have been home. They came into the yard at different times of day and fed heavily at a suet feeder, then went over to a dawn redwood and stripped bark pieces from it. They appeared to be either looking at or listening to something in the tree with head cocked back, then would go to town on it. We worried about the survival of the tree, which I thought had been in fine health (certainly not dead), but we took no action to keep the woodpeckers out of it. Each bird would usually come once or twice a day, the male a bit more often. I assume it was only two birds.

Then one day a week ago neither bird showed up, nor have they appeared since then. It was a complete and immediate disappearance of both birds. Did they decide to move elsewhere? Did one of them decide, and the other follow? Were one or both of them killed by predators? If so, what predator in my neighborhood could take on a Pileated Woodpecker? They would seem to be relatively immune to most predators. The two birds never came together, so I don't know if they were a mated pair.

We don't always get a chance to monitor individual birds like this, and this was a surprising event. I wish it could have been educational as well, but I have no idea what to make of it.

Happy holidays to all!

Dennis Paulson
1724 NE 98 St.
Seattle, WA 98115
dennispaulson at comcast.net

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