An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide – maryholland505@gmail.com

Welcome to a photographic journey through the fields, woods, and marshes of New England

Here I’ll be sharing some photographs I’ve recently taken as well as some of my favorites from my forthcoming book Naturally Curious. I’ll be updating my blog periodically with new images, new stories, and more glimpses of New England in all seasons.

PILEATED WOODPECKER  SCAT

Where you find oblong pileated woodpecker feeding holes in a tree, you usually also find carpenter ants inhabiting the tree. The inner wood, where the carpenter ants reside, provides structural, not nutrient, support to the tree. (Therefore, it’s possible for a living tree survive and be completely hollow.) If you find a tree where a pileated woodpecker has been working for quite some time, and there is a considerable pile of chips at its base, you can almost always find pileated scat – which usually consists of carpenter ant carcasses, and the occasional seed or two. If your curiosity is such that you enjoy discovering what an animal has eaten by examining its scat, these pileated piles of wood chips can be a goldmine.

4 responses

  1. In the words of a kindred spirit, Aldo Leopold, “all is not ants’ eggs that glitters.” Though apparently this woodpecker found his or her ants and ate them, too!

    April 15, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    • You are hysterical…did you just have Aldo Leopold’s words in your head????????????? They’re great!

      April 15, 2010 at 4:08 pm

  2. Christopher Holland

    Well, I never! Ants’ eggs do too have a bit of glitter. One only has to observe more closely.

    November 10, 2010 at 11:02 pm

  3. Christopher Holland

    And scat’s about it for today.

    November 10, 2010 at 11:03 pm

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