Friday, August 17, 2012

The Urbanization of Florida Woodpeckers

Back in March, my office moved from its location to a freestanding building next to a wooded lot. The building is made from cement block and wood-frame stucco. Not long after the move, I was out in the parking lot smoking, (Yes, I know it will kill me but so will 87 other things in my life) when I heard a tapping/knocking sound coming from the building.  I thought someone was trying to get my attention by rapping on the window.  Nope.  It turned out to be a woodpecker.
  He was high up on the side of the building, pecking away like there was no tomorrow.  I figured this was the stupidest woodpecker since Woody!  There must be 200 trees in the lot for him to peck on and there he was going hell-bent for leather, on a building.
Winston At Work

I noticed after several days of this behavior, he'd actually managed to make a hole in the building, obviously in the stucco part, and was now madly tearing out insulation!  Not long after, lady woodpecker swoops on by and tucks herself right in the hole.  Damn! Mr. wasn't a dumb shit after all!

Watching the hole each time I went outside, I'd see Mr. and Mrs. take turns going in and out with nesting material.  When the babies hatched, they'd do the same thing bringing food.  Soon, the babies grew, learned to fly and the hole/nest was abandoned.  I felt sad.

I wasn't sad for long. About three weeks ago, I see not one but two male woodpeckers, jack hammering the side of the building!  This time, the females would fly by to check progress before taking off for the woods to get lunch.  I started to wonder what the conversations might be like between those birds...

The Woods Behind My Building
Charles ~ Christ!  I'd like to peck a hole in Winston's head!

Arnold ~ Me, too!  Thinkin' he's special 'cause he's a fancy city 'pecker!

Charles ~ He's a pecker, all right!  When Gloria saw that Phyllis had a nest in a nice beige building, she HAD to have the same. Just like when Winston brought home a baby snake for dinner.  Gloria had to have one of those, too.  I fucking HATE snake!!!

Arnold ~  Tell me about it, Brenda's the same way.  Winston, this! Phyllis, that! You'd think they were eagles or something!

Charles ~ I started a great nest in a nice Australian pine, but OH! NO! Gloria wasn't havin' any of that.  "What if there's a hurricane, Charles? What if the tree falls down, Charles? What if a squirrel climbs up there, Charles?"

Arnold ~ We've been makin' nests in trees forfuckingever but because of fancy-feathers Winston, we gotta be breakin' our beaks on this damn building!

Gloria and Brenda do a fly by ...

Gloria ~ You boys almost done? We need to lay these eggs, NOW! Y'all are talkin' more than two old owls!

Brenda ~ Winston didn't talk to anyone.  He had Phyllis' nest done in two days.  You guys are gonna be here all week at this rate.  Shut-up and get to work!

Charles and Arnold ~ Yes, dear!

Gloria Screaming for Charles to Get His Ass Home

Smiley from
My new meds totally rock!

4 blew out from under the bed:

Ron said...

Nitebyrd, this was BRILLIANT!

I almost choked while smoking my CIGARETTE (Ha!) reading the dialogue between Charles and Arnold. HILARIOUS!

Come to think of it, I haven't seen a woodpecker since I lived in Florida?! I honestly don't think I've seen one since living back in the northeast?!?

So glad to hear that your new meds rock! You GO, Sis!

Glad to see you posted.

Have a super weekend!

X ya!

Akelamalu said...

I've never seen a woodpecker. We do have them over here but usually only in woodlands. :)

nitebyrd said...

Ron and Akelamalu ~ Thanks for stopping by! These woodpeckers intrigued me. One day a squirrel did get up on the ledge not long after the first babies hatched. Mom and dad did double team attacks on him, finally chasing him back down the building!

Our most populous birds in this area are mockingbirds, starlings, cardinals, mourning doves and sparrows. A few blue jays, lots of hawks and surprisingly, eagles. I love watching the cardinals during mating season. Those females are very picky!

Ron, did you see the curly tail lizards when you were here? They're a relatively new development, slowly moving northward in the state.

Anonymous said...

This was hilarious! You women are brilliant!
what a riot!
( like a loon! another pecker!*WINK*)