Zionsville Times Sentinel

May 21, 2014

Was that a hammer, a drill or a woodpecker?

Lynn Jenkins
Living green

---- — A few weeks ago, I was provoked at home by loud, intermittent pounding. With no immediate neighbors to blame, I wondered who would interfere with my peaceful birdsong-filled morning.

I was surprised -- and thrilled -- to find a pileated woodpecker at one of my back bedroom windows. Pileateds (the Woody Woodpecker variety) are Indiana's largest woodpecker.

We know that woodpeckers are voracious insect eaters. From the tiny downy to the mammoth pileated -- both common in Indiana -- woodpeckers have a knack for finding bugs in trees. Their bills are great for extricating bugs and excavating nest cavities.

With acres of woods nearby, it wasn't at all uncommon to see this strange bird at the suet feeder, and their call is easily recognizable, so I often knew they were in the area. They will also pound wood loudly to tell competitors of their territory. This is what I assumed my newest bird friend was busy doing: claiming my home as his territory.

I giddily laughed, and posted video on FB from the inside looking out. It was at least a day before it dawned on me to check the outside. Oh my!

See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.