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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Woodpeckers are definitely not killing your tree

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Sapsucker
In north Texas, it's the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker that usually gets the blame. But it's just not so - The tree is not healthy!!

The woodpecker (whatever the species) is telling you over and over and over that the tree or shrub is deathly sick.  The tree may look fine to you; but to a bird it's in serious decline. The wood is full of tunneling insects and the tree's sap is abnormally sweet. Both these things attract Sapsuckers and other woodpeckers.

It may be possible to return the tree to health. But it may topple in high wind first.

Eurasian Collared Dove
The Eurasian Collared Dove is becoming accustomed to the north Texas environment. Priority to the mid-80s, however, it wasn't even in the area's field guides. It was introduced to the Bahamas in the seventies, and spread out gradually from there.  It is now frequently seen in the southeast, and is expanding its range westward.