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J48jake

Stumped

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Ok, I was out on my line a few days ago and I cam across this. No idea what made it. Any help or insight would be great. I am just mostly curious. Its about 4-5 feet above the ground and almost all the way through the tree. About 500 feet from the Rum River Bank.

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Wow! Thats a real stumper? At first I thought that it might be a type of woodpecker and some of it's helpers, after the mother lode of grubs, but the shaving look like it was done with a wood chisel...that rules out the woodpecker!

Whatever it was had to have gnawing teeth like a beaver, could that have been done by a porky pine? Those horizontal grooves and the size of them, rule out the smaller gnawing critters?

Could a porky even get it's head into such a narrow space? Did the grooves go all the way to the back of the excavation? maybe it's an extremely buck toothed porky? shocked

What goes after the heartwood of a tree? Maybe it's a new breed of Asian beetle, about the size of a football?

Hey, set up a trail cam and train it on that spot, see whats doing it? If it's a human, you'll know, cause your trail cam will be gone!

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Snapped 2 more pictures, nothing has been around since the snow fell. I guess a porkupine could not be out of the question but usually they just eat the bark. Not sure what kind of tree it is. I took your advice and put my camara up next to the tree, I think what ever did it might be done. I took some close up pics and I there are some scratch marks but I dont know if they will show up very well in the pic.

DSC03615.jpg

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That is a pileated woodpecker. Years back i had a pileated woodpecker working over a tree in the back yard all winter long.I could watch him from my house.It tore such a big hole in the tree it fell over.

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I sure hope I dont have any of those ash beetles, I am pretty sure it was a woodpecker now, but I have no idea what he was trying to get at.

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One would think that a woodpecker would do something like that, but would a woodpecker do that so close to the ground where his vision would be obstructed and he couldn't see an attack comming?

He would have to be right inside the hole, with little room to make the powerfull pecks it would take to peel that wood? he would be trapped if some kind of attack came from a predator, air or ground.....and that much pecking would sure generate alot of interest!

Also, if you look closely, you will see that some of the striations, or grooves run up and down and back and forth, like a checker board?

Lastly, no woodpecker hole that I have ever seen had nicely rounded edges and to pull the bark off at the bottom of the hole, the woodpecker would have had to been on steroids! I still think it was from some kind of a gnawing animal?

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I'd say that's a Pileated for sure. Watched one carve up a an old Basswood behind my house last winter. In just a few days he had that thing hollowed out like a pumpkin!

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Yup - that's a pileated woodpecker..

If you look close, you will see that the center of the tree is rotted. The woodpecker was going after some bugs in the center. Talk about working for a living!

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It was a pileated woodpecker for sure. This is how they feed. I've witnessed them doing it many, many times. Actually, got a yard full of semi-rotten poplar trees (past maturity), and they are constantly around ripping those trees apart. Eventually a big wind storm comes up and they blow down because of all the weak spots. It is amazing the power they have in those peckers, and biologically speaking, their skulls are well adapted to help them to continue this constant pounding. You would be amazed to see just how fast they can make a hole like that!

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