Fascinated woodpecker pecks all around a Tesla Model 3 while the nervous owner tells it to stop

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/22/fascinated-woodpecker-pecks-al.html


Relax, it is just going after all the bugs found in the Tesla 3.

HA! I’ll be here all week.


This time of year, a lot of bird spp. will go after their reflections in glass – it’s all about territory & competition. I’ve had Steller’s jays do that at my house, and one year I put bags over my parked truck’s mirrors because a mountain bluebird was attacking them so hard I thought he might hurt himself.


Very pretty bird is somewhat confused by its reflection. Silly monkey foolishly thinks that pretty bird’s beak might be able to scratch the glass and metal of its silly bauble.


Pileated woodpecker don’t care…

I was thinking it might be looking for the self-destruct button?

Btw, bird could have been looking at its reflection, tapping the car for literal bugs, and or also seeking the spot with the right resound for its percussion communication.


My husband and I came across a pileated woodpecker while walking through town a few months ago. We were both delighted when it flew away from us, making a great approximation of Woody Woodpecker’s laugh. Neither of us had realized until that moment that Woody’s laugh was somewhat based in reality. This video has some of their pseudo-cackling pretty early in.


I enhanced the audio a bit and made a fuller transcript.

MAN: What are you doing to my car?

BIRD: I’m trying to understand it. People sometimes say that the early bird gets the worm, but the saying also holds for early adopters. Unfortunately it’s apt only insofar as humans tend to regard worms as undesirable. How much did you shell out in an interest-free loan to a billionaire just for the privilege of eventually buying v. 0.1.0 of a car?

MAN: You better not crack my glass.

BIRD: Why, is it special glass somehow, just because Elon Musk blessed it with his magical aura? And incidentally, speaking of Musk, I’d like to believe that your purchase of this car was on its putative merits–some of which may actually have made it into production–but realistically I’m guessing 90% of it was derived from whatever platinum-plated PR has made him into a cult figure. Not that he’d be a bad choice for a cult leader, from what I can tell of him as a person, but more the “hole up in a heavily-guarded compound in Wyoming” sort of cult than kind he’s actually in. I mean, that’s really what this is about, right? Your little man-crush on some weird dude who got his face on some magazine covers?

MAN: Nope… hey! What are you doing?!

BIRD: I’m trying to help you, man. I’m trying to get you to see that this is just a car. A $25,000 car that you paid $45,000 for.

MAN: This guy’s crazy! …Yeah, do it to the tree, not my car.

BIRD: This tree was free. Would you like the tree better if I’d paid a year’s salary to some squinty-eyed prophet for it?


Its looking for panel gaps


They can make a real racket if they go after your cedar cabin. You got to chase they away before they make a hole that attracts various animals in to make a nest, which then attracts a snake to climb up your house and then when you step outside it falls to the porch and you soild yourself. Dang nature can be a pain in the butt.


This specimen seems way too comfortable with humans near him. The pileated woodpeckers in our backyard are the most skittish of all the woodpeckers and fly off at the least provocation.


Playing Hungry Birds, I see.


Wouldn’t be the first pecker with a tesla


Why does this make me so happy?

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I’ve heard of penetration testing, but this is ridiculous.


That has got to be the tamest pileated ever.
Usually very shy, will do whatever it takes to avoid humans. They are spectacular birds, the biggest North American woodpecker, and as you can guess, with a personality to match it’s size.


He’s one of the testers for Consumer Reports that panned the car, probing for more flaws.


You nailed it.


Up here in Oregon we’ve got pileated woodpeckers that like to show off to the lady woodpeckers in early spring by banging on metal surfaces. In particular they really like metal rain gutters. It’s rather terrifying the first time you experience them beating on your house because it’s very loud, and they start early in the morning; it sounds like someone’s taking a hammer drill to the side of the house.

My guess, I knowing absolutely nothing about bird behavior, is this fellow is inspecting the Tesla for a resonant metal surface upon which to beat to attract the ladies. The reason he is so in-your-face is because he’s a macho stud. If your name was “woodpecker” you kind of have to be.


Me too. Perhaps it has something to do with wild Nature, ego-less, innocent, bashing away at yet another flawed, human construct born of pride and greed, foolishly brought onto Nature’s stomping grounds. Or maybe it’s just the fun of seeing a woodpecker fuck with some guy.