Red-Bellied Woodpeckers

What They Do When We Aren’t Watching

Clumps! I'd find clumps of moss tossed onto the pavers.

All the little green mossy bits that used to be stuck firmly between the pavers on my sidewalk are tossed around like so many boats after a big storm. This has happened periodically throughout the summer.  And I couldn’t figure it out.

Until yesterday.

I glanced out the kitchen window yesterday morning and noticed a new bunch of mossy bits had become dislodged from their firm little anchors (Note: Try prying those bits out; they don’t pop out easily.), so to speak. Stumped, I sipped my morning cup of tea, stared at the little clumps browning in the morning sun and pondered, “Why.”

And then I saw a flash of movement under the huge lavender plant (make that shrub with as large as it’s grown over the years). Squinting and moving closer to the window I caught a glimpse of . . .something.. . . black . . .and white and. . .was that a flash of red?


My local jack hammer operator at work. Tap, tap, tap.

It was a bird, a pretty big one and it looked like perhaps it was hurt or. . .no. . .wait. As it worked its way out from under the lavender shrub I saw it more clearly. It was a large woodpecker. On the ground. It looked  ‘hurt’ at first glance because its tail was sorta smooshed into the paver behind it. With the way woodpeckers tails are situated on their bodies they aren’t made for walking on the ground, but this one surely was.

Mr. Woodpecker was intent on the task at hand. Like a small but mighty jackhammer he would thrust his long black beak between the pavers, and as he did, the moss flew. Fascinated, I watched for a while as he worked his way in a pattern of sorts around each paver. Bugs! He was hammering for bugs. Or, more likely, ants! Quite successfully by the look of him.

I always learn something when I look out my kitchen window. It’s never time wasted.

Breakfast. . .the hard way!



Filed under Animal Tales, Red-Bellied Woodpecker

2 responses to “Red-Bellied Woodpeckers

  1. Pingback: What to do about a pesky outdoor bird?? This is not a pet bird!?

  2. Pingback: Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus

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