Wow, you're right. I looked it up. They eat bugs, fruit, bird's eggs, small animals, (they'd have to be really small) and tree sap! I was right too, in that they use the pecking as a form of communication. I'd bet he was flirting. John
We get Downy Woodpeckers by the house and I saw one yesterday. It came and was pecking on our tree. It surprised me as Donna said it has been around for at least a month. But it is still pretty cool here and a month ago cold with snow. Yet it managed. I did note at work 2 weeks ago, though there was snow in the grass and around, int he late afternoon sun were a couple ants on the concrete outside my office door! It was like 45f out!
Donna said that Downy pecker also seems to have stipped some bark off the tree and there are some spots where it is missing. I wonder if they also eat sap?
David and the CoolCyberCats
Woodpeckers are pretty rare around here but they are around. All I've ever seen is the red-headed woodpecker. As chilly as it was, (about 60F or 16C) we took the granddaughter to a playground on the state fairgrounds yesterday, and I started hearing a woodpecker. I figured it must be in a tree nearby so we went looking for it. It seemed unusually loud. We didn't have to walk far before I saw it.
One of the buildings on the fairgrounds has these domes on it, sheathed in metal, and that was what he was pecking on! No wonder it seemed so loud. I know they peck on wood to try to get bugs out of it and he couldn't be getting anywhere against that metal, so my guess was that he must be using the extra volume to try to attract a mate. It sounded like a rapid-fire machine gun and the sound had to be traveling much farther than if it were wood. Good luck to him! John