That's one hungry woodpecker

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The only remote connection to flying this entry has is that it is about a bird. A hungry bird. A hungry woodpecker. Way back a number of years ago, we lived in a small town and on our yard were a number of maple trees. A cluster 4 or 5 grew together in our back yard. I tried making maple syrup from the sap a couple years in a row, and actually made about 1 cup of syrup. (It takes an amazing amount of sap to make a cup of syrup - especially when you burn the first batch....). Anyway, the second year I noticed that one tree didn't produce any sap. It appeared to grow normally that summer, however, it also had some strange bugs flying around it with long tails that appeared to be laying eggs into it. I never thought much about it until the following spring.

As I was getting ready for work on morning I went out back to check on something. I spotted a hole in the sick maple. It was about 4-5' off the ground and about 3-4" in diameter. Almost as big as a soft ball. Wow I thought, and went to work.

Later that day, my wife calls me at work and quite excitedly asks - "Did you see the hole the woodpecker made in the tree?!?!?" - "Why, yes I did" I reply remembering the 3" hole. "Its HUGE" she exclaims. "Well, a 3 inch hole is fairly big I guess" - "Not 3 inches - try 3 FEET!"

pardon?

Well, my wife was right. And in fact, by the next day the woodpecker had pretty much decimated the tree. Here's a picture of my daughter by the trunk.
woodpecker_daughter.jpg
She was around 5 years old at the time. There were enough wood chips at the base to fill my wheelbarrow TWICE. That hole is over 4 feet long, at least 1/4 of the way around the trunk and up to 6 inches deep into the trunk at places. That woodpecker must had one strong head - some of the wood chips were larger then my little finger!

Curiously, none of the other trunks were damaged by the woodpecker. That summer we cut that tree down, just above the hole made by the woodpecker and it remained quite a conversation piece.

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