Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Death of a woodpecker


You all know how much I love birds. Any birds, really, but especially the birds at my feeder. I like to think they love me too, they certainly are all waiting in the trees above our deck every morning as I put out seed.

One of my favorite visitors.

One of my favorites is the red bellied woodpecker. He lords over the feeder, picks a favorite seed and flies up into the trees to eat it.

Then he’s right back.

So you can imagine my horror yesterday afternoon when I saw him dead on the deck. He’d obviously hit the window, hopefully was killed instantly before he knew anything.

My heart broke.

I was so upset I took Katie to a park for a long walk among the fall foliage, but that’s another blog post. When I got home I buried my beautiful woodpecker boy under a rosebush in my garden.

Final resting place.

I was sad all night, and this morning considered not putting out any seed. I felt like my woodpecker’s death was my fault, for enticing him to my deck in the first place.

So you can imagine my delight when this showed up.

“Got anything to eat lady?”

At first when I saw that red head I was afraid this would be my guy’s widow. I was still filled with remorse. But this one is a male too, and instantly began lording over the seed.

“I stopped by to make you smile!”

I caught my breath as he grabbed a seed and flew up into the trees. Fly that way, little buddy, fly away from the house.

Thanks for stopping by, stay safe!

You are healing my broken heart.

I’m thankful for the morning visit.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

16 thoughts on “Death of a woodpecker

  1. Dawn–I am so sorry, but this was a beautiful post. He received a proper burial, and for that I thank you.


    • I have had to bury 3 birds in the 25+ years we’ve been here, each of them I grieved, a hummingbird, a cardinal. Each time I felt responsible, and always put them in a beautiful place. I hope I don’t have another one for a long time.


  2. So sorry about your woodpecker boy. Glad that another has found your backyard. Life goes on.


  3. This post made me tear up. I used to feel so sad when a bird would hit the window. After we got our Aussie, Taz, I had to stop putting seed out because she would chase and sometimes catch a bird. Always broke my heart.
    I’m thrilled another male showed up right away. He was waiting his turn but so sorry it required the death of the other.


  4. In the midst of life … there is always new life —

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank goodness. It is so hard when those special birds hit the window and die. It’s happened so many times. You were shown death and new life one after another.


  6. I am so sorry, Dawn. I had a bird hit the window here the other day and I cried all afternoon, not knowing if it had survived or not. I’d like to think it did (since it managed to leave the deck and go elsewhere, I’m not sure where as I haven’t seen it again). Thank you for giving your special guy some ceremony (a burial). It made me smile, too, to see that another has come along to take his place.


  7. I hate it when birds are killed by flying into windows. It has happened at our home, too. Glad to read another pretty fellow has come to get food. Fabulous shot of the bird in flight.


  8. After we washed the windows more birds have hit them …either that our they are flying badly this time of year. Poor Woodpecker…but see that you have another one now!


  9. Our existence affects others … mammals, birds, humans, fish, plants … and those folks affect our existence too. It’s so wonderful to know a human (you!) who is aware and cares. We all have a time when we go, we try hard not to make others go too soon. Your bird feeder helped all sorts of folks grow and be healthy and reproduce when they wouldn’t have otherwise. The rose bush is blessed with the body of old Woodpecker for sure. And that young fellow is SO happy to be the king of the bird feeder! Hurray for life!


  10. How cool that the dead woodpecker sent his buddy to console you! I hate it when birds fly into one of our windows. Sometimes, they’re merely stunned and fly away; other times, they’re not strong enough to survive, and like you, that breaks my heart. Thank you for being sensitive to that creature and giving him a lovely final resting place.


  11. Aww, poor thing! You did nothing wrong, Dawn, those darn birds have short lives but they bring such joy in the time they have. I remember finding two tiny, featherless hummingbirds beneath my tall pine tree…dead from the fall. They never even started their lives. I carefully buried them to go back into the earth knowing their parents would lay more eggs.


  12. Let your windows get dirty so birds will see it as a window, and not the beautiful reflection of your back yard.


  13. Oh I know how upsetting that is, I am so sorry. I am glad a newcomer came to bring some happiness back for you


  14. It’s always so sad when we see nature pass in front of our eyes.

    I’m so happy another gorgeous woodpecker has come to see you!


  15. Animal lives are too short. I’m upset after heavy storms when I find dead butterflies that were beaten down by the rains.


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