I saw a woodpecker flying into a hole in one of these dead trees. When trees die, they can remain standing for ten years or more and these dead trees are called snags. Woodpeckers and other animals use snags to make nesting sites (woodpeckers don’t nest in living trees).
Depending on the woodpecker species, they create nesting cavities at different heights above the ground. Woodpeckers breed in the spring with a short incubation period – around two weeks – although it can differ depending on the species. It’s common for woodpeckers to have 2 broods per year and some species may have 3 broods. Woodpeckers create new nesting sites every year and their old cavities are used by other hole-nesting species such as squirrels, owls and starlings. Woodpeckers nesting in snags can help keep wooded areas free of insect infestations.
Dead trees (snags) don’t look attractive and people often cut them down in their yards or woods. But if a dead tree doesn’t pose a safety hazard and it's not touching your house, it’s best to preserve it as a wildlife habitat.
Besides nesting in snags, woodpeckers also nest in human - made structures, such as wooden fence posts, utility poles, and buildings. So you still might find woodpeckers in areas that don’t have many trees.
photo from flickr creative commons
blackspanielgallery - my aunt has a dead tree in her yard and I bring out a lawn chair and book and listen to a woodpecker peck away. I've been able to get a few good photos of it, too. I'm glad my aunt doesn't have the tree cut down.
One thing hey are is beautiful. When I hear one pecking away I like to see it.
jptanabe - I love woodpeckers, too. They didn't kill your tree, though. When they make a nesting hole in a tree, it's already dead.
We always have woodpeckers around our house - especially the little downy ones come to eat the suet I put out for them. They are really quite brave and keep eating even when we get up close! We also have a pileated woodpecker sometimes - it made a huge square hole in one of our trees, which subsequently died and we had to cut it down. Not sure if the woodpecker killed it or if it liked because it was already rotting! Funny thing was a little while later I saw the woodpecker sitting on the stump looking for his tree!
Another great site. I learned a lot about woodpeckers! Thanks