A Pileated Woodpecker Came a Knockin’
So…we were sitting in our living room, enjoying one of our favorite tv shows as dinner was cooking, when…BAM…this woodpecker flew right into our living room window.
Now we’ve had many birds hit our window. You see they think it’s a through-way as our deck door is on the other side of our living room. Most shake their heads as if to jumble their brains back in place, and fly away. A few don’t make it. We try to pull the curtain on the opposing window which seems to help but yes, we need to put something shiny on the window so they stay away.
Back to our woodpecker story…
Tim and I both, for some reason, happened to look out the window just as it was flying fast toward the window and hit. Talk about a shock! The moment it hit the window I think the three of us jumped 2 feet into the air! Our hearts now in our throats, Tim and I both commented ‘Did you see that?’
Now those of you that know me, know that I’m a caregiver at heart and can’t stand to see anything or anyone hurt. So off my chair I jump and I’m out the door.
Gabi joined me as we checked on Mr. Woodpecker as he was lying on the grass. His eyes were blinking, but he wasn’t moving – obviously stunned. We said a little prayer that it would be ok.
I called one of our local Veterinarians (who lives a few blocks away). He gave us the instructions to put it into a box or paper grocery bag to give it a quiet, dark place to rest. Gabi and I gathered the bag and headed back outside.
While I have empathy and want to make everything better (a trait I continually need to work on resisting), I’m not entirely blind to danger.
Just as I started to lower the bag over the woodpecker in an attempt to ‘trap and scoop’, he started to flap its wings and move around. All I could think was ‘I’m going to get pecked to death trying to save this woodpecker!’ It reminded me of a plaque that I used to have that read ‘Raising kids is like being pecked to death by a killer chicken!’ I think substituting the term ‘kids’ with ‘teenage girls’ would be even more appropriate, but I digress…
As Mr. Woodpecker flutters around, Gabi yells “Mom!” and I just about jump out of my skin.
We decide maybe we should just observe him for a while…now that we know he isn’t dead. Then I start talking to him, at which point Gabi rolls her eyes.
“Hey buddy, it’s ok.”
“We’ll hang out with you for a while.”
“You’re not alone.”
“We just want to make sure you’re going to be ok.”
The woodpecker sat in one place for a long time, so long that I thought maybe I should try again (yeah, well, I didn’t say I was a brain surgeon).
As soon as I started moving, the bird started hopping until it hopped up onto our tree. I couldn’t help but cheer on Mr. Woodpecker! (At this point I decided to take photos of this beautiful bird.)
“Way to go!”
“Look at you!”
“You’re doing so much better!”
I was just in awe. I’d never been this close to a woodpecker.
They may be a homeowner’s pest, but they bring back memories for me. Living out in the country, we often heard one of these birds knocking on one of our many trees. I chuckle as I remember this one time that a woodpecker decided to peck at our light pole..while it wasn’t metal, it was like a huge telephone pole. Now that was loud!
As I kept talking to my new friend I saw Gabi out of the corner of my eye, head back into the house shaking her head. (Yes…it’s official…all three of my girls now think I’m losing it.)
Mr. Woodpecker and I hung out for a while longer. He perched on the tree, me sitting on the grass. I think somewhere along the line we came to an understanding. He seemed to warm up to me and let me sneak a few inches closer before he’d hop up a little farther on the tree.
Finally I decided I should call Peter, our friendly neighborhood Veterinarian, back. I was concerned that there still might be something wrong with my little friend so I asked him if he’d come and take a look.
The moment Peter drove up, the woodpecker flew off.
I shrugged my shoulders as I laughed and yelled to Peter, “I guess it’s ok!”
I’m pretty sure he shook his head as he drove away.
I’m not so sure the woodpecker didn’t too.
All in all, it was a very cool encounter.
Have a good day everyone!
Your thankfully imperfect friend,