For much of the summer our bird feeders went unused and we wondered what had happened to the large number of tits, nuthatches, chaffinches, woodpeckers and jays that normally feed at our nut and seed feeders.  Had some terrible disease wiped them out?  Well, with the advent of the colder weather they are now returning, although still not in the numbers of the past.

One welcome sight is the woodpecker, a shy creature which often flies off as soon as one moves inside the house.  But one is becoming a bit of a pest.  Less scared than previous woodpeckers, we now find that as well as coming to feed on the nuts, it is taking great chunks out of the red-leafed maple on which the feeder hangs.  The damage is quite extensive – no doubt it is searching for bugs under the moss and bark.

bird damage

Woodpecker damage next to the bird feeder

And here is the culprit, a female  as can be seen from the lack of red colouring on the head.

woodpecker

Mrs Woodpecker on the nuts as she should be