I could hear it, but couldn’t see it. But the sound was unmistakable to someone who knows it.

Being way up top in the tree made it tough to focus the camera. (Different kind of focus than what I ranted about on Sunday.)

There it is! No sign of a red patch on the head, so it must be the female. I’ve seen the male around from time to time and they form monogamous pairs, so it makes sense.

This tree’s started to die off in the last six months or so, just like the matching one did about ten years ago and the birch tree did three or four years ago. In each case, I always saw the woodpeckers pounding away as the trees turned brown. I don’t know if the trees get sick and the bugs move in on the weakened tree, or if the bugs move in and are the primary cause in making the trees get sick and die. Either way, it’s a meal for the woodpeckers.

What, better hunting up there? Okay!

Even though it’s fall, much of this tree is still covered in leaves. Except for the parts that have turned brown and brittle. The sound from her hunting and feeding wasn’t tremendously loud – I only heard it because I was standing under the tree. I’ve heard woodpeckers in the neighborhood “drumming” in the spring (I’m guessing it’s these two, they’re not that common here) and they can be quite loud, heard from a couple blocks away.

Hunting for dinner at the very top, just before she flew off. As you can see, this tree might not make it to the end of the year. It’s a “city street tree,” planted by the city in the median strip between the sidewalk and the curb back when the houses were built. I suspect this whole housing tract had the same species of tree used everywhere, but now about 2/3 of them are missing. Instead we have quite a variety of trees that have been chosen to replace them.

The woodpeckers don’t care. They’re just here for the bugs.

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Filed under Castle Willett, Critters, Photography

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