[CT Birds] Amazing Woodpecker Activity (?)

Steve Mayo and Rebecca Horowitz rsdmayo at sbcglobal.net
Sat Mar 28 13:38:11 EDT 2015


Thanks John, for solving this incredible mystery. 

There's usually a "Barney Bag" (a purple Emerald Ash Borer collecting device) suspended in a tree over there.  'Too bad ALL the Ash Borers don't jump into the bag...
Steve MayoBethany

 


     On Friday, March 27, 2015 10:20 PM, John Triana via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
   

 The answer is woodpeckers going after the emerald ash borer.  We have seen
many trees in our area (Prospect) where woodpeckers have stripped the outer
bark off revealing the yellow/orange under bark as they go after EAB larvae
in infested trees.

Pileated woodpeckers do the most work, but downy's, hairy's and the rest do
their part too.

If you come to my backyard right now, you can see a 18" dbh white ash that
has what looks like a mulch pile all around it laying on the snow.  This is
all the bark that the pileated and other woodpeckers have flecked off.

There are many trees like that in Bethany now.  Look in the woods at the
intersection of Rt. 69 and Gaylord Mt. Rd.  Pretty depressing.

Thanks,
JT


John Triana
Prospect


    
-----Original Message-----
From: CTBirds [mailto:ctbirds-bounces at lists.ctbirding.org] On Behalf Of Eric
Lichtenberger via CTBirds
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2015 10:02 PM
To: Steve Mayo and Rebecca Horowitz
Cc: CT Birds
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Amazing Woodpecker Acivity (?)

A few summers ago I was standing on my front porch marveling at an intense
thunderstorm passing through. All of a sudden, a lightning bolt struck a
tree 100 yards away from where I was standing. It sounded and felt like a
bomb exploded, and then the strangest thing happened: shards of bark from
the tree started raining down and some even landed right at my feet! When I
inspected the tree the electrical energy literally blew the bark off,
sending it flying, exposing the smooth, moist underlayer. 

When I read your note that's what I immediately thought of. 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 27, 2015, at 9:44 PM, Steve Mayo and Rebecca Horowitz via CTBirds
<ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
> 
> I took a hike behind the Old Bethany Airport (on Rte 63) and noticed one
tree with the fresh, deep oval holes made by a Pileated Woodpecker.  But
then I noticed many trees, more than a dozen within eyesight, showing a
bright tawny, ochre color.  These formerly had deeply furrowed dark gray,
lichen covered bark (a hardwood, perhaps a Black Oak?).  The outer layer of
bark now lay in 3-4 inch, 1/2 inch wide shards, in a circular pile around
each tree.  Many of the tree trunks were completely naked, from 1 foot above
ground to upwards of 40 feet.  [Ok, so that rules out browsing White-tailed
Deer.]  Trunk surfaces were severely frayed, exposing the cambium.  I can't
imagine the amount of time and mechanical energy needed, to remove hundreds
upon hundreds of square feet of bark, like that.  
> What kind of creature in New England deciduous woods, does this?  Is it a
battalion of the Army Corps of Woodpecker Engineers?  Perhaps this is a
common occurrence, but I don't recall ever seeing this incredible effort.
> 
> Steve MayoBethany
> 
> 
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