20 April 2016

Who ate the woodpecker?

Posted by Callan Bentley

Occasionally, our big windows get in the way of birds. The latest casualty was a hairy woodpecker, Leuconotopicus villosus.


While it’s sad that our home being where it is caused the end of this bird’s life, its body was an opportunity to teach my son something about wildlife and ecology.

We have a motion-sensitive wildlife camera trained on our compost pile, and so I put the woodpecker’s body there in hopes something would snag it overnight, and we would see the scavenger on the morning’s batch of photos:


Sure enough, when we checked the memory card this morning, we found that an opossum (Didelphis virginiana) came by shortly after sundown to snack on the woodpecker.

Now you see it (dark horizontal object in the middle of the pile)…


… Now you don’t!


We also had a raccoon (Procyon lotor) visit last night, enjoying the grapefruit rinds and eggshells that were on the pile. Here’s a GIF of its activity (80 frames, so it may take a minute to load up):