Good Morning, Mr. Woodpecker!

Red Woodpecker
I once just thought you were loud
Now I’m glad you’re here

It sounded like someone’s cell phone with a no-nonsense ring had attached itself to a tree in my backyard. I was writing, so it took me a few minutes to process the strangeness of this.

Once I stopped to listen, logic told me the sound was coming from a woodpecker, busy pecking away at an oak tree.

But the pecking noise was almost robotic: staccato for no longer than one ring from a cell phone, at about the same pitch.

Then a pause, always the same short interval.

Then another ring, er, round of pecking.

Since I was writing on my computer, I decided to google woodpeckers in Virginia.

On the Virginia State wildlife site, I quickly found the reason for this woodpecker’s rhythmic pecking. This behavior is called “drumming” and signals other woodpeckers that he is staking, or claiming, territory as his own. He also uses this sound to attract a mate.

I learned it is illegal to kill a woodpecker in Virginia. In fact, I learned more about woodpeckers than I hope I ever need to know.

Sorry if you wasted your time reading this information about the various types of sounds coming from woodpeckers, but since I spent the time (briefly) researching the topic, it was a safe bet I was going to write about it.

Thanks for reading this. If you’d like to take a chance that I won’t write about woodpeckers again, the link to find more of my articles and poems is here.

Writing on whatever strikes my mood, from politics to humor (or a combination of the two), to spirituality, or whatever else shows up. Retired, not in retreat.

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