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Old 03-02-2018, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevadas (California)
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I think they also bury nuts in the trees, they are very clever at doing it, so that the squirrels don't steal them.
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:11 AM
 
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I'm not familiar with any type of woodpecker that hides nuts in trees for future eating. I know that some of the smaller songbirds will wedge sunflower seeds into tree bark so they can then open the seeds more easily. Maybe some woodpeckers do this also. OP, it would be interesting to know what type of woodpeckers you have where you are located.


Here in southern New England, we have lots of Downey woodpeckers that sometimes hunt for bugs in the siding of our house (cedar, so they are not usually successful and therefore quit after a minute or so), but they prefer pecking in live tree bark (have never seemed to hurt the trees) and the suet cages we keep hanging from an extra clothes line year round.


OT a bit, but in a recent walk in the woods in back of us, we saw one of our resident pileated woodpeckers digging a fresh nest hole. Prior years, he'd been in a sycamore tree about 50 feet from the trail. Now, he seems to be relocating to another sycamore, very near the prior one he nested in, but about 100 feet off the trail. Very few people walk in these woods, but even so, perhaps he just wanted more privacy. (I will add, we tread very softly when we are in that area and we don't stop to watch either... Don't want to disturb him)


Back to topic, I wonder if flickers hide nuts in tree bark. I mostly just see flickers digging bugs and worms out of the ground.

Last edited by LilyMae521; 03-03-2018 at 07:26 AM.. Reason: clarity
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Old 03-03-2018, 09:07 AM
 
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There are also the sapsucker varieties of woodpeckers, that make nice neat rows of holes in trees to drink the sap of live healthy trees.
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Old 03-03-2018, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by little pink View Post
I live in a highly wooded area and am now noticing lots of woodpeckers in my backyard. Is it true that they only peck at dead trees? If not, will they kill my trees and what exactly are they doing ?
No, they peck at living trees or dead trees, trying to get to bugs and it can kill a tree. It seems like a lot of work for them.....haven’t they ever seen other birds just getting insects and worms off the ground?

We have a wax Myrtle that is so riddled with woodpecker holes that it’s half dead. We’re taking it down this year.
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Old 03-03-2018, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
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Originally Posted by LilyMae521 View Post
I'm not familiar with any type of woodpecker that hides nuts in trees for future eating.
Say hello to the Acorn Woodpecker!
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Old 03-03-2018, 02:24 PM
 
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Well, that's two things I learned today at CD. Sapsuckers make those lines of holes and Acorn Woodpeckers store nuts for future eating. Thank you to both posters. And gentlearts, sorry about your wax myrtle tree. I should qualify my earlier post that the woodpeckers around us don't seem to hurt our trees, but they are huge old oaks and maples.
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Old 03-03-2018, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyMae521 View Post
Well, that's two things I learned today at CD. Sapsuckers make those lines of holes and Acorn Woodpeckers store nuts for future eating. Thank you to both posters. And gentlearts, sorry about your wax myrtle tree. I should qualify my earlier post that the woodpeckers around us don't seem to hurt our trees, but they are huge old oaks and maples.
That’s ok, our wax Myrtle is pretty ugly, but the worst part is that the birds love to eat the berries off it. I’d rather plant something more beautiful, but I’d like it to have berries and flowers the birds and bees like.
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Old 03-03-2018, 03:31 PM
 
Location: on the wind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
No, they peck at living trees or dead trees, trying to get to bugs and it can kill a tree. It seems like a lot of work for them.....haven’t they ever seen other birds just getting insects and worms off the ground?

We have a wax Myrtle that is so riddled with woodpecker holes that it’s half dead. We’re taking it down this year.
Woodpeckers developed a skill/physical ability that enabled them to take advantage of a food source that other birds could not. Instead of competing directly with the other birds "getting insects off the ground", they avoided competition....going after the insects trying to stay hidden under bark. That's what evolution does. Ensuring survival by avoiding competition and exploiting a different source of food. An amazingly beautiful and diverse world resulted.
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Sierra Nevadas (California)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LilyMae521 View Post
Well, that's two things I learned today at CD. Sapsuckers make those lines of holes and Acorn Woodpeckers store nuts for future eating. Thank you to both posters. And gentlearts, sorry about your wax myrtle tree. I should qualify my earlier post that the woodpeckers around us don't seem to hurt our trees, but they are huge old oaks and maples.
One time, we were on a nature walk, & saw a fight between a woodpecker & a squirrel, the squirrel was trying to seal the nuts that the bird had hid in the tree, it was quite the commotion. I wouldn't have known what was happening, except the Audubon guide told us.
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Old 03-03-2018, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Raleigh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by little pink View Post
I live in a highly wooded area and am now noticing lots of woodpeckers in my backyard. Is it true that they only peck at dead trees? If not, will they kill my trees and what exactly are they doing ?
They will not kill your trees. They peck when they hear insects which are their sustenance. They are hunting bugs beneath the bark, dead trees or live ones.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodpecker
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