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Nov 19, 2010

Bark-stripping extraodinaire

I came across this Hemlock at Cold Creek Conservation Area yesterday and it immediately caught my eye. Starting at about 4" off the ground, the outer layer of bark had been chipped away from the the entire tree trunk. It was stripped right to the very top of its almost 60' height. None of its branches had been touched. My guess is that it is the work of woodpeckers, and not necessarily Pileated Woodpeckers. They are big birds capable of dismantling whole trees, but they usually carve-out big holes (see photo below-also at Cold Creek). If it was a Hairy Woodpecker, it must have taken the whole summer to complete this huge task. Or maybe it invited friends over to help with the work. They must have discovered a payload of larvae or worms, of some form.

Photos by BarrytheBirder

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