Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sapsucker tree

This is our apple tree.   It feeds a lot of woodpeckers. [And sapsuckers! Thanks to Teresa in the comments for identifying thi pecking pattern.]

There are several different types of woodpeckers that live around us.  

Down the way is a patch of woods full of breeding pairs of red headed woodpeckers.   I love them. 

In the deepest parts of our woods we sometimes see the very large pileated woodpeckers and we can hear them on old hollow trees for miles.  

Closer to home, we get red bellied woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers and hairy woodpeckers.    They make a science out of mining our old apple tree for food. 

You can see the holes in nice neat rows going around the tree.  The rows are a few inches apart and go all the way down the tree.   If you look closely, you can see which are new holes, surrounded by orange bark, and which are old holes, with raised scar tissue around each hole. 

We will keep this tree - even though it bears inferior apples and is prone to other problems.    It shades our back patio and the birds love it.


  1. Horizontal holes like that are usually made by sapsuckers; have you seen any on your property before? We had a Pileated show up on our suet feeder a couple of days ago. They're so spectacular!

  2. Teresa, thanks for that tip. I looked up sapsuckers and we've never seen any of them, which is surprising because that tree is right out our back door and close to a bunch of windows. I have seen downy woodpeckers on the tree and assumed they were doing the rings.

  3. B says that Sapsuckers are usually only around here in the winter, plus they're listed as uncommon so it's not surprising you've not spotted them yet. I've never caught sight of them around our house either, but we don't have as many of those holes as you do.


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