Date: 6/21/18 10:38 am
From: Pterodroma <pterodroma...>
Subject: Re: [Tweeters] Pileated Woodpecker eating huckleberries

It wasn't a Pileated Woodpecker here (yet), but I do currently have a recently fledged Northern Flicker doing exactly the same thing in one of my Red Huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium). I have never seen this behavior before from any largish woodpecker and the show is quite an entertaining hoot. As clumsy and awkward as it appears, the flicker is pretty good at targeting the next red ripe berry with intense fervor, then like the lightning strike of a rattlesnake, strikes to reach and grab the berry, hold it in it's beak for a second or two before swallowing it, all the while managing to remain balanced on some pretty flimsy branches and twigs while eyeing the next targeted berry.

Richard Rowlett
Bellevue (Easatgate), WA

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