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Baby woodpeckers change construction plans

In early June, just before construction began on a segment of the Gitchi-Gami State Trail through Gooseberry Falls State Park, Park Manager Paul Sundberg and a co-worker noticed a pileated woodpecker nest in a birch tree. It was directly in the path of the new trail.

Sundberg spoke to workers with Nels Nelson and Sons, who readily agreed to spare the tree until after the young woodpeckers learned to fly and left the nest. That should be happening any day now, Sundberg said.

Meanwhile, Sundberg took several photos of the adult and young woodpeckers.

When it's time for the young ones to learn to fly, the adults simply quit feeding them for a couple of days, Sundberg said. Soon, they emerge from the nest and accompany the adults in drilling for carpenter ants in other dead trees.

For more of Paul Sundberg's photography, go to