A Hole in One (Tree)

| Tom Driscoll |

Along the shore of Sabbathday Lake is a most unusual find – a hollow white pine tree with many woodpecker holes all leading to a bird hostel inside.

You have seen woodpecker holes in trees before, I’m sure, but likely not like this one.

I was tempted, but, I did not stick my finger in this woodpecker hole as I imagined the possible consequences if the woodpecker was home.

But I did stick the camera lens into the hole and we can now see this!

Those are tree branches – inside the hollow tree – which, if the original whole tree was sawn into boards, would have appeared as the knots in the knotty pine!

You often see dead branches on the outside of a tree, but rarely inside.

The vertical tree rings have been chewed away by carpenter ants, and the birds finished the job of creating the hollow cavity.  But the horizontal tree branches are still intact!

These apparently provide first-class perches inside the tree for birds roosting during cold and rainy weather.

In normal times perhaps this place is listed on nature’s Bird Zillow as a place to find shelter from the storm.

As you can see, however – perhaps adhering to social distancing guidelines – no birds are currently occupying this common space.

Photos: Tom Driscoll