Monday, May 19, 2008

Industrious Woodpeckers


Linemen of some of the telegraph and telephone companies centering in Reading have made a discovery as to the destructive propensities of woodpeckers that almost surpasses belief. The costly cedar poles brought from Canada, these birds have discovered, are soft through the center to the top.

They first hunt for a knot near the bottom, and around this they peck with their long sharp bills until they extract it. They work all around it until it is dislodged. They then continue pecking until the center of the pole is reached, after which the softer material is removed. In some cases the interior of the pole at the point attacked is nothing more than a more shell, and any sudden gale is apt to snap it off.

The birds sometimes build their nests inside the hollow pole and have been known to be killed by its breaking. The cedar poles taken out after they are ruined by the birds are generally replaced by chestnut poles, which are seldom attacked.

Linemen are instructed to keep an extra sharp lookout for poles damaged in this way, and when they find they have been used as hatcheries to renew them. — Philadelphia Ledger.

No comments: