Sunday, January 29, 2012

Trees don't really need their bark do they?

Last week I was in Riverview Park and noticed a lot of bark around some of the tree bases. I was thinking they must have some disease to have such diffuse loss of bark, but was quite wrong. I heard a Hairy Woodpecker and was walking towards its calls when I noticed 2 Pileated woodpeckers working much more quietly and closely. They were going to town on the treebark.

Check out the Imperial Woodpecker style re-curved crown that the camera froze the female in.
It looks like she has un-moulted primaries from last year, and might be a 1st winter bird depending on how bright the eye color is (my computer's monitor is still on the fritz, I can't tell).

The male seems to have all black primaries and some color to his eye; he's a full adult.

Here's what I mean by extensive scaling...
I'll be curious to see if the trees seem somewhat stunted in their leaf-out. You'd think Pileated's couldn't possibly have home ranges big enough to routinely kill large trees and not eat themselves out of house and home.

Here's the Hairy Woodpecker (a year bird) that set me in their direction to begin with.

1 comment:

Delmi said...

Matt -- it looks like those trees are primarily Ash; in our yard, the Pileateds have been feeding in identical style on two ash that were afflicted with emerald ash borer, so maybe that's what's going on there?