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Wild Things: Woodpeckers

Gertjan Hoojier/
Woodpeckers tend to enjoy a warm space in the hearts of the bird-loving public, perhaps due to our collective nostalgia for the iconic "Woody Woodpecker" cartoons of yore. But we also admire the industrious natures of these arboreal birds. Due to their characteristic vertical posture on tree trunks and the red thatches of plumage on many species, they’re easy to spot. We hang suet feeders in our backyards expressly to cater to them, and we’re awed by their ability to hammer so hard and appear none the worse for it (thanks to a remarkably designed skull that absorbs shocks in ways we still don’t understand). In short, we love having woodpeckers around—until they pick our place to peck at, getting a bit too close, or too loud, for our suburban sensibilities (or our migraines). Spring is the

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