Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Holes
There's a small stand of longleaf pine around Collin's Mount, on the hunt club's land. It hasn't been logged in human recollection because the hills are too steep to work. There are reputed to be several well established colonies of red-cockaded woodpeckers rearby, on Fort Jackson, and at least until a few years ago they were active here on Collin's Mount, too. As recently as ten or twelve years ago I picked up chips of green, still wet with sap wood under this hole, only a shallow carving at the time.
I took a few pictures of other abandoned holes, some of which I remember as having the the classic surround of oozing sap-
and a close-up of that one-
And another old one -
There was a lightening strike fire last summer that probable did the longleafs long term good, but a number of old trees didn't make it. Including this one, with advanced heart disease, with a nest hole that nephew Nathan and I watched one long evening years ago, waiting for birds that never showed-
You can see the outline of the bottom half of the hole. The fire came in the stump on the other side of the tree, up through the diseased heart, and, when it came to the nest cavity, burned the tree in two.