[CT Birds] Amazing Woodpecker Acivity (?)

Eric Lichtenberger elichten at yahoo.com
Fri Mar 27 22:01:41 EDT 2015

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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