Kindling Neighborly Connections between People and Nature.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Meet Harry (Harry's Journal: Entry #2)

This is the second post of what I can only hope will become the on-going saga of Harry the woodpecker. If you saw yesterday's post called Drumming for Springtime, you know that I happened upon my first of the year drumming woodpecker along the Diahoga Trail in Athens, PA. I've decided to name him Harry. Perhaps this is a little too fitting since Harry is a member of the species known as hairy woodpecker. What can I say; at home I've got a ringed turtledove whose name is Dovie and a newt whose name is Newton. Say what you will about my naming skills. I was happy to see Harry on what I assume to be his established territory at this point. 

Yesterday Harry was drumming on a dead branch of a live silver maple. When I saw him today he was drumming on the dead branch of a live sycamore tree. In both cases, when I placed my ear against each tree listening as he tapped away, it was obvious that both trees had hollow interiors beneath a nice layer of bark. So, if you're a woodpecker and you're looking to send a nice reverberating message through the forest, a dead limb on a live tree with a hollow interior seems to be the ticket; at least for this woodpecker anyway.

As far as I can tell, the territory that Harry seems to have claimed is bordered on the south by the water treatment plant, on the north by the edge of a corn field, on the west by the territory of a downy woodpecker whom I heard drumming in that woodlot today where it extends close to Cove Street, and Harry's territory is bordered on the east by the Susquehanna River. Here's a photo to give you a visual.

HT= Harry's Territory

CF= Corn Field

DW= Downy Woodpecker territory

WTP= Water Treatment Plant



So far I've not seen a female in Harry's territory. If it happens, what should I name her? Perhaps her name will be Sally.

Here's kind of a "Where's Waldo" type photo with Harry in it. Can you pick out Harry on his drumming branch in the Sycamore tree?


If you should visit the Diahoga Trail and are fortunate enough to see Harry during your visit, you can share a story or even a picture of him to the Wild Neighbors Nature Connection Facebook Page. If you see a hairy woodpecker lacking a red spot on the back of the head, I'll for sure want to know about it since that would likely be Harry's female counterpart.

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