Back in the arboretum, today on the green trail, we came across this dead tree. There are lots of trees in here that are used by woodpeckers and almost all the dead ones have holes in them – this you would expect. however this one, which a week ago was another occasionally holed stump has had a real going over … in fact as we examined it we were being showerd by falling chips and there was heavy and noisy hacking going on deep inside the tree by a Hairy that would come to the rim of the cave it was creating and chuck out the debris. Much of the damage was probably done by a Pileated – or a family of them – but it is remarkable what a couple of birds can achieve in a very short time given the will and the opportunity.
Normally when we find a tree like this there is plenty of weathering and the gradual remodelling has been done over a lengthy period – so you have to wonder what they were finding so attractive … for the answer to which see the last image below
The dark spots on the excavated wood are all the ends of holes bored by insect grubs – nice fat food for building a bird up for the winter.