Apr 27 2012

What Are These Holes?

There are woodpeckers that frequent this vicinity, and the holes look to me like pecked out craters, but I’m not sure.


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  1. 1

    I believe those are caused by insects, not birds. However, the insects would be the reason the birds dig into the trees.


  2. 2



    is a good resource.

    It might be helpful to know just where that tree is.

  3. 3

    They look like woodpecker’s insect-hunting holes to me. A clue is that they tend to horizontal rows, which the bird does by clinging to the bark in one spot and moving its head a little each time, producing that familiar “rat-tat-tat.”

    The larger woodpeckers, e.g. pileated, also carve out deep nesting holes which are a few inches across and go right down into the wood. Usually the most obvious sign is a scattering of fresh wood chips at the bottom of the tree.

  4. 4
    Chuck VA

    Those definitely look like woodpecker holes.
    Monado is correct. The horizontal rows are usually a dead giveaway.

  5. 5

    Looks to be an acorn woodpecker granary tree. I think you can even see the stored acorn remains in a few of the holes.

    The woodpeckers dig shallow holes in trees or fence posts, insert acorns, and come back later to feed on insects that infest them, and perhaps on nut meat too.

  6. 6

    Here’s another picture, of a fallen granary. Look similar?


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