Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker

Look for Woodpecker in the forest areas of The Sea Ranch. One way to find him is to listen for the drumming sound that he makes when he is working on a dead tree. Some of the noise is because getting bugs out of a tree is hard work, but part of it is also designed to establish his turf. The louder the better, and that is why sometimes you will hear him working on a metal chimney. Once you find him, look closely and you will see that Woodpecker has a strong bill, short legs, big feet with four claws, and a stiff tail. This combination facilitates his clinging to the trunk while drilling down to the grub deep inside the tree. A long, thin, sticky tongue is useful for capturing and extracting the insect after the wood has been cleared away. Woodpecker even has eyelids that close automatically and little feathers over his nose to protect form flying wood. His brain is built so that it is not damaged by the repeated pounding that it receives.

With all of the noise associated with Woodpecker, it is not surprising that he is often associated with thunder and lightening. Some believe that he is a rainmaker. Maylasian Negritos believe that he brought fire to humans. The Greeks and the Romans have numerous references to Woodpecker doing all kinds of things. For instance, Woodpecker fed Romulus and Remus, when they were in hiding in the cave before they founded Rome. Christian tradition is harder on Woodpecker and sometimes goes so far as to associate him with heresy and the devil. There are stories that depict Woodpecker as some poor soul that got on the wrong side of a powerful deity and was condemned to eat the bark of trees. The Lakota Sioux believe that Woodpecker taught man how to play the flute. Woody Woodpecker is the most famous Woodpecker we can think of in modern literature.

How much wood could a woodpecker peck if a woodpecker would peck wood?