Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker "S" Pattern in a Balsam Fir (Algonquin Park, February 2015)

Hairy Woodpecker “S” Pattern in a Balsam Fir (Algonquin Park, February 2015)

Hairy Woodpeckers create an “S” pattern while feeding. I learned that this “S” curve relates to feeding and risk management.  The woodpecker feeds in an upright position and then rotates his/her body to get a better look at either side of the tree, just in case danger is nearby.  As they descend or ascend the tree, an “S” shape of holes is created as the woodpecker rotates from side to vertical position.  In the winter, woodpeckers tend to feed more at the base of a tree because that is where the bugs are concentrated (warmer location).

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