Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Story from Zack -- Why Woodpeckers Bang Their Heads on Trees

A while ago, Zack and I got into a conversation about woodpeckers. He brought it up because he thought they were rather fascinating birds. I asked him WHY they were fascinating. Here's his story that was published in his school newspaper; it's a little shorter than the original version due to newspaper space. Enjoy!!!!

The woodpecker, also known as Dryocopus pileatus, bang their heads against trees because they are diehard heavy metal fans. But not just ANY heavy metal; only heavy metal bands comprised of squirrels. Yes, squirrels.

Compared to human heavy metal, squirrel heavy metal is like cutting down the squirrel's tree while they're screaming at each other and throwing acorns around at each other. This says two things about the woodpeckers' personality; a) they have horrible taste in music and b) they are not the sharpest beak in the forest.

"Hey. I'm with the band, dude."

"When is the gig? I'm ready to ROCK!"

When a woodpecker pecks, it's usually out of view. This is because they're a bit afraid of people and they hang out where the squirrels are -- in the trees. Squirrel bands are in trees because they are conscious about the feelings of humans. The might be out of fear, though -- most people only hear a few pecks at a certain moments, but around squirrels, woodpeckers peck on one tree for hours at a time. This is because heavy metal songs composed by squirrels are VERY long, but no human has ever heard an entire one. The record for the longest time listening to a heavy metal song made and performed by squirrels was 30 minutes. The person only lasted that long because his eardrums eventually burst and his brain melted.


For some reason, the squirrels aren't affected by their music, but they ARE affected by the constant head-banging of the woodpecker. When a woodpecker pecks, to us it sounds like, well, a beak on wood. To squirrels, it's like someone banging on a wall right next to you at twenty beats a second.

Quite a dilemma.

But let's not focus on that. Let's focus on the beauty of the Dryocopus pileatus.


  1. Best story ever!!! I LOVE IT!!

  2. He is so creative. I would bet he gets that from his Mom. Awesome story Zach!

  3. Very very informative! Zack you have quite the gift for storytelling. We have "Woody" Woodpeckers here in our forest and we have Pileated Woodpeckers too. They are huge and we have a pair of them. One day I stepped out on my upstairs deck and started to walk down the stairs when all of a sudden I spotted the giant Pileated Woodpecker just about 8 feet from me and he flew right past me! I screamed (that is my sonar to warn flying creatures) and ran inside. That Pileated Woodpecker was HUGE!!! They are gorgeous in their red regalia. Creative Story Bliss Dear Zack. <3

  4. That's so funny, love this essay!

  5. That is FABULOUS!!! Tell Zach it made me Laugh and it is very well written!!!

  6. This is a great story! Love the heavy metal squirrel band. I am sure I have a group in the trees in my yard. I am sure everyone that read your story loved it. Make sure you keep them all so later in life you can put all your stories together and publish them, and then we can we knew you before you became so famous!!!!!

  7. Wow, that is a great story and now I

  8. Fabulous!!!! I love Woodpeckers and your story Zach!!!


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