Downy in the Phrag

Phragmites are notorious for taking over and turning everything into Phragmites, leaving little room for other plants and the hosts of other organisms that live with those plants.

One exception is whatever it is that attracts Downy Woodpeckers to the winter stalks. Somebody is living in there, and this small woodpecker is determined to chisel them out. (Dried stalks are natural tubes that can be utilized by some insect larvae.)

This male was whacking away at the stems in this patch, where I’ve seen this same behavior in the past. I heard the bird before seeing him.

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