The Aspens and the Woodpecker

The big, majestic and oh-so-cheeky pileated woodpecker loves to peck away at poplars, including the aspens below.

Pileated Woodpecker Chopping Wood at The Painted Chasm

Every one of those aspen trunks (and hundreds more outside of the image) is part of the same individual. The woodpecker is not creating irreparable wounds in a tree to get at grubs and beetles in its wood but keeping an old stalk alive longer, so it can feed the young ones growing up to replace it: not the young ones from seed but part of its own body. Bluebirds and tree swallows will then move in and continue the good work.

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