Knock, Knock, Who’s There?

Wood chips at base of live oak.








Knock, Knock, Who’s There?

Last week I discovered a pile of wood chips at the base of a live oak I walk and drive by each day on our lane. Further investigation revealed a three inch hole about five feet up the trunk with a carved passage descending into the tree.

I googled “tree hole nest” and top of the list was “woodpecker”. It takes two weeks to make this nest, the site said. We have a lot of woodpeckers here, and several varieties: flocks of Ladder-backs, Downy Woodpeckers, a resident Pileated Woodpecker who skinned a dead tree of its bark during the time she was nesting.

I remembered a time some sixteen years ago when my husband and I were living in the little farm house near the road and had a Williamson’s Sapsucker move in to share our bedroom wall. We had heard a drumming on the house but had not thought much of it. Then one night―or should I say― early morning, we became aware of noise in the north bedroom wall. Investigation the next morning revealed a hole in the siding. Each night we slept with the stirrings of that bird family until one night we heard a tiny rap-rap-rap-rap. “The baby sapsuckers!” my husband declared.

Entrance of hole about five feet from ground.
  Sadly, shortly after that, we found a sapsucker that had been hit by a car, and fearing it was the mother, we opened the wall to discover a clean but empty nest. Relieved, we sealed the hole, and to this day, remain vigilant as to who comes knocking!