I am routinely baffled by a certain set of people who come into the shop: those who despise woodpeckers. The usual claim is that the woodpeckers are destroying their house.

I always have to hold my tongue. It is unwise to tell a customer that if a woodpecker is going to town on the house it is because the house has bugs. This does not a sale make. Furthermore, I often suspect that they have seen a woodpecker precisely once and have chosen it for the day’s daily dose of crazy.

But what really baffles me is the houses these people must be living in. If any place had a set of buildings that Should be woodpecker territory it is this place. God knows how many thousands of feet of old wood clapboards we have. I am certainly not measuring them. And not a woodpecker hole in sight. And it isn’t like we don’t have woodpeckers: Pileated, Red-Bellied, Downy, Hairy, Sapsuckers, they all live here.  All of them actively working away in the woods.

So is it that modern lumber is no good and is readily colonized by bugs? Or is it that we have, deliberately, left plenty of natural snags in our woods? Or both?