Animal Totems The Woodpecker

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Virtues of the Woodpecker as a Animal Spirit Woodpecker Totem: The woodpecker is known for many qualities or virtues, the one most recognizable is its persistence to dig deeply to find what it is looking for. What many do not realize about the woodpecker totem, especially at first glance, is the tendency toward long term relationships. The Pileated woodpecker, for example, mates for life. When seen locally it is common to see not just one woodpecker, but also its mate.

How do you know if the woodpecker is (one of) your Animal Totems?  It could be a fascination with the bird that runs deeper than any other, appearances of the bird in your life, or dreams about woodpeckers. Here are a few facts about the woodpecker, published in Birdcraft in 1897:

A Few Woodpecker Facts from BirdCraft

The Pileated Woodpecker

pileated woodpecker hummingbirdshaman.comThis, the largest as well as most abundant of our common Woodpeckers, can be easily identified, when at rest, by the black throat crescent and red head patch, and when flying by the white rump and golden wing linings.

Other Popular Woodpeckers

The Goldenwinged is a Woodpecker of many aliases, among which Pigeon-woodpecker, Yucker, and Yellowhammer are locally familiar. Individuals remain all the year, and frequent orchards and wooded gardens more than deep woodlands; they walk about on the ground in search of food in the manner of Pigeons, and are in this respect quite independent of trees.

The Flicker

The Flicker is a genial, sociable bird, and its hammering is one of the first bird sounds of early spring that comes from the orchard. In April or May it looks for a suitable tree to bore, or else clears out a last year’s hole. The birds are very wary when the excavation is under way, and, instead of dropping the chips by the tree where they are working, carry them to some distance.

There is a singular physiological fact connected with the laying powers of this Woodpecker. Six is the usual setting of eggs, but if the eggs are removed from the nest as soon as laid the female continues laying uninterruptedly, and according to Dr. Coues eighteen to twenty-three eggs have been taken from one nest.

Reference
Birdcraft: a field book of two hundred song, game, and water birds By Mabel Osgood Wright, 1897.

Learn more about the spiritual meaning of woodpeckers: Pileated, flicker, downy woodpecker.

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