In honor of Mr. Pecke:
I hear her screams: “Kawiiit, kawiiit!!
Where are you?
She flies up and down the clearing around our house, then back into the woods towards the nesting cavity high up in a dead Maple Tree. “Kawiit!! kawiiit! wiiietttkekekeke!”
Minutes later she is back, for a second lands on the Onion bag filled with fat that hangs from a line suspended between 2 Trees. She does not feed, but yet again flies of: “Kawiiit!!?? kawiit!! kawiiit???”
I would love to be able to tell her, what happened; where he is; and that he will not come back.
Not because he went of with the other female Hairy Woodpecker, her nemesis and the mate of his arch rival.
He is dead.
Yesterday evening yet again the 2 males were sparring, fighting for the territory around the house, the place where it is save from Hawks, Weasels and other dangers and where the feeders are still hanging.
They yet again chased each other from Tree to Tree, round and round the trunk, round and round again , then to the next Tree and round and round the trunk again, screaming obscenities at each other.
The have been keeping this up for over a month now. Chasing each other across the clearing and around the house. They were well matched, both in their prime and both knowing the lay of the land well, having been born here and grown up here.
Yesterday evening however it was windy. And as yet again they chased each other. He miss-calculated and in an instant it was over. Instead turning in the usual west wind to zoom around the house the unusual north wind got him and he crashed into the window of the living room. We run downstairs onto the deck, picked him up gently. Normally Woodpeckers are strong and quickly recover from mishaps like this, but not this time. Sadly his head flopped to the side, as Peter held him. His neck was broken. He was already far gone.
We were upset and in instant mourning.
What to do now? Put him under a Tree?
Within the hour one of our pregnant Raccoon ladies would rip him apart.
We simply were not ready for that.
Nasty scavenger that I am I also have to here honestly admit, that I thought about his beautiful feathers.
But I was not ready to take them.
Not right then anyway.
We gently laid him down – out of more harm’s way – as if that was even possible.
This morning I sang to him and played my dan moy for him.
I had a long serious talk with his Spirit.
Should I clip of his entire wings, dry them and make small smudge fans from them? That would be nice – BUT Honestly, I already have a set of Hairy woodpecker wings waiting for such a treatment. We had found this one last year on South portage Road on our way to visit a friend….
Should I take just the feathers and make small simple feather earrings for this summer? Would he like that?
The money out of that could become a special fund for Woodpecker treats like sued and nuts…..
Yes, that was more to his liking.
A little while later I took his sad remains out towards the nesting Tree and put it into the loving arms of our Earth Mother.
May he return!
As a little hatchling.
In a warm and save nest
In a Tree close to here.
May he be well.
May his forlorn mate be well.
May she find a new mate…
May all be well…..