Usually you have to hire a professional arborist if you want a tree removed from your property, but apparently a woodpecker can do the trick if you're on a budget.

New York's favorite percussionist, the red-headed woodpecker, was recently seen doing a little more than hunting for bugs. Massive chunks of a dead tree came falling from the sky as this industrious bird wreaked havoc on what used to be a maple.

Safety became a concern as soon as massive chunks of dead tree began falling from above (Jonah/TSM)
Safety became a concern as soon as massive chunks of dead tree began falling from above (Jonah/TSM)
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Red-Headed Woodpeckers in the Hudson Valley, NY

When I first heard the sound, I thought it couldn't possibly be a woodpecker. The strikes were too dull and infrequent. Surely this was a nearby neighbor taking an axe to firewood, or even using a sledgehammer to knock a fencepost into its correct position. The last thing I expected to see when I looked up was a woodpecker working halfway through a tree trunk.

Large chunks of the tree showed the burrow-holes of the insects the woodpecker was hunting (Jonah/TSM)
Large chunks of the tree showed the burrow-holes of the insects the woodpecker was hunting (Jonah/TSM)
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Red-Headed Woodpecker Diet

It's no surprise why our feathered friend was so interested in this particular tree; the wooden shrapnel that fell from above was littered with holes bored by the insects the woodpecker was hunting. Every minute, more bark and chunks of spongy wood rained down from above.

Jonah/TSM
Jonah/TSM
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Red-Headed Woodpecker Population in New York

Unfortunately, the red-headed woodpecker population is in decline in New York. Over the last thirty years, the birds have been found less and less in the Empire State, particularly in central New York. In the Hudson Valley, the decline has been slightly less dramatic, but everything from competition for nest space with European starlings to pesticides killing insects meant for woodpecker dinners are being looked at as causes.

Population maps of the red-headed woodpecker in New York (NYS DEC/Jonah)
Population maps of the red-headed woodpecker in New York (NYS DEC/Jonah)
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Of course the woodpecker is far from the only hungry bird in the Hudson Valley prowling for its next meal. Check out the incredible peregrine falcon that was spotted putting its razor-sharp talons to use below, and keep scrolling to see an epic eagle food fight over the Hudson River.

Stunning Photos Capture Falcon Tearing into Another Bird Along Hudson

Photos: Massive Eagles Fight Over Fish on the Hudson

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