The Moss is Uppermost

One of the first important things I learned about moss is should you find it growing on your roof, you need a new roof. After that, we learned we needed siding, fencing, drainage, a sump and a pump, as well as new pipes from the house to the cesspool. Gutters, too.

Speaking of moss, the Pileated Woodpecker loves this tree. It’s full of boring insects and covered with moss. A lot of insects live in the moss. The birds love it, the trees don’t seem to mind it, though this particular tree is pretty much dead. But birds love dead trees even more than living ones.

There’s moss on most of our oak trees. Supposedly moss grows on the north side of a tree, but no one told the moss or the tree. So as far as I can tell, moss grows wherever it wants.

Categories: #Birds, #Birds, #gallery, #Photography, Architecture, Wildlife, Woodpeckers

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10 replies

  1. Fantastic to see more photographs of this amazing bird. He doesn’t seem to mind the moss!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it harbors more insects — which is all he eats. These guys are amazing at getting borers out of trees. They can save a forest if you let them at it. Their head have a double-weight skull and that bill is effectively a jackhammer. That’s why they need such a strong skull! All that pounding. They don’t even look like other woodpeckers. They are built very differently and are much bigger.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Have you seen the latest research which has discovered why their bills don’t get stuck? The top and lower parts of the bill can move separately, so they do little turns as they pound, which means the hole is ever so slightly larger than the beak


        • There was an even bigger version of this woodpecker who has apparently gone extinct, the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. He looked very much like the Pileated Woodpecker, but was a little bit bigger and had an ivory white beak. The Pileated Woodpecker also has a white beak, but it isn’t solidly white and is darker at the base. The last known (officially known) sighting of him was in (I think) 1948. He may be alive in some far away and lonely place. They were loners anyway. The good news is that the pileated woodpecker has expanded his range and can now be seen from California to Florida. It’s nice that at least something is still expanding!

          I didn’t know how their bills didn’t get stuck. I also didn’t realize how deep into a tree their beaks go. They are powerful birds and don’t seem to have any natural enemies. Even the hawks leave them alone. That beak can do a lot of damage.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Great woodpecker pics! And, sorry about the moss on your roof.


    • Thank you!

      It was an inexpensive shed from Home Depot and it lasted 20 years. It doesn’t owe us anything.

      I have seen that woodpecker quite a few times, but FINALLY got pictures. I feel like I climbed the bird-version of Mt. Everest. They came out better than I expected. It wasn’t my best camera, but shots like that don’t wait for you 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      • You’re right-strike while the photography iron is hot. Congratulations on reaching the summit!


        • With wildlife, you need three things. The big one is luck. You need to BE there when the creature you’ve waited for shows up. You need a camera read to shoot. And finally, enough light to get the shot. I didn’t have my best camera, but the smaller one has a longer lens — and that bird was pretty far away. I also was shooting through a very small piece of glass. so having that 750mm lens made most of the shots possible. It’s just I’m not as young as I was and when you’re shooting that far away, holding still is difficult. It wasn’t like I could yell “Hey, hold it, I’ll be right out!” I’m still tickled about it 😀

          Liked by 2 people


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