poetry and prose about place

woodpeckers and covered bridges

with 6 comments

'Hairy Woodpecker'


Woodpeckers are common in our area.  Both Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers visit our feeders in winter.  Pileated Woodpeckers hammer on our trees in summer, their flaming heads a blur as they excavate dead trees for insects.


'Pileated Woodpecker'


Woodpeckers don’t confine their tapping to dead trees.  I have seen them pounding on telephone poles, metal roof flashing and even the shingles on the side of our house.

Lately, as a result of a project I am planning, I have been thinking about covered bridges and their use as wild life habitat.  So, a question …

Do woodpeckers excavate the wood of covered bridges for food?

Last week, we visited three covered bridges in Sunbury County in New Brunswick and, in two of them, we found the answer …



woodpecker holes in the soffit at the gable end of the Smyth Covered Bridge near Mill Settlement, Sunbury County (April 2015)



old woodpecker excavations on the face of the Bell Covered Bridge near Juvenile Settlement, Sunbury County (April 2015).



woodpecker holes inside the Bell Covered Bridge (April 2015)


I would love to be in a covered bridge when a woodpecker comes to play his staccato song.


Copyright  2015  Jane Tims


Written by jane tims

April 24, 2015 at 7:04 am

6 Responses

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  1. Love your woodpecker drawings… There is a tree in my sister’s yard that has holes like the ones on your covered bridge. We seem to have a pair of downy woodpeckers who like the suet we put out on our balcony. We seem them every day and I’m wondering if they might have a nest nearby.

    Liked by 1 person

    Barbara Rodgers

    April 30, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    • Hi Barbara. Thanks! I’ve never seen a woodpecker nest … I assume they occupy old tree cavities. It is a better world because we share it with the birds. Jane


      jane tims

      April 30, 2015 at 12:56 pm

  2. Hi Jane, I would love to hear the sound that a woodpecker makes. The closest I have come is watching Woody Woodpecker on the cartoons when I was a kid! I was actually quite old when I found out that they were real birds, and not only a cartoon character. Lol. Regards, Stephanie. X

    Liked by 1 person


    April 26, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    • Hi. If you tap your fingernail on a wooden table and magnify the sound by twenty, you would get something close to the sound they make. When they tap on metal flashing, it’s even louder. I used to watch looney tunes and found out recently that road-runners have eyelash-like feathers, just like the cartoon fellow! Jane

      Liked by 1 person

      jane tims

      April 26, 2015 at 9:18 pm

  3. What a great question! And now you have answer. It would be a noisy, echoing experience to be inside the covered bridge while a woodpecker tapped his tune. But, fun too.

    Liked by 1 person

    Carol Steel

    April 24, 2015 at 8:32 am

    • Hi Carol. It is likely like other examples of wild life encounters … if you wait for it, you will wait all day, but just when you forget there is such a thing …. rat-tat-tat-tat. Jane


      jane tims

      April 24, 2015 at 3:41 pm

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