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I sincerely doubt he was a full-on woodpecker. Probably he was a flicker. And I think what you're probably describing is a thing flickers do where they tear out the dirt in cracks in the sidewalks to get at the ant nests that are buried in there. You've seen those weird creepy explosions of tiny brown ants that burst of cracks in sidewalks and parking lots when the weather turns warm? Those things are total buffets for flickers.

Posted by Judah | June 20, 2007 2:01 PM

edwin, the fearless sidewalk flicker?

Posted by adrian! | June 20, 2007 2:06 PM

Edwin, The Fearless Sidewalk Pecker sounds a hell of a lot cooler than The Flicker.

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 20, 2007 2:08 PM

You're a dork.

Posted by Suz | June 20, 2007 2:13 PM
Posted by matt | June 20, 2007 2:19 PM

edwin, the sidepeck walking flickwooder!

or, edwood, the peckflick...

never mind!

Posted by adrian! | June 20, 2007 2:28 PM

Thus the phrase "not a full-on woodpecker".

See, that's shorthand for, "It's a woodpecker, but it's not one of the two birds that are normally identified simply as 'woodpeckers'. Rather, it's a smaller less dramatically colored member of the woodpecker family which is generally called a 'flicker'. Not, you will understand, a 'flicker woodpecker.'"

Sorry if that was confusing for anyone besides matt.

Posted by Judah | June 20, 2007 2:32 PM

It wasn't.

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 20, 2007 2:36 PM

The famous of all woodpeckers is Woody, known to peck through anything made of wood.

So if it's a woodpecker that doesn't peck wood but instead pecks asphalt shouldn't his name be Assy?

Posted by monkey | June 20, 2007 2:46 PM

Yes, but I doubt it was a flicker. Adrian identified as a woodpecker, right? And flickers don't actually look like woodpeckers are imagined to look (i.e. they don't have red top-knots and black-and-white coloring). So unless you happen to know a bit about bird taxonomy, you wouldn't see a flicker doing something un-woodpeckerish and conclude, "hey, that's a woodpecker." Whatever.

It heightens the mystery though. Assuming it was a hairy or downy woodpecker (no jokes, please -- both are possible species in that part of Cap Hill), it's hard to know why it would be pecking at the sidewalk.

Posted by Eric | June 20, 2007 2:49 PM

Woodpecker? Bellevue Ave East? Top Pot? Dork looking? You call him Edwin? Euphemism?

He was probablly just looking for a little fun, some companionship, maybe, sure he was just trying to feed himself, who doesn't work it to put food in the belly, but taking it to the street does take courage.

Posted by The Peanut Gallery | June 20, 2007 2:51 PM


I suggest you take an entry-level course in logic. "Not a full-on" implies that it is partially a woodpecker. Like some sort of hybrid, as in a "peekapoo" is not a "full-on" poodle because it is half pekingnese.

Or it implies a lack -- as in FTMs are not a "full-on" man because they are not genetically male.

Posted by matt | June 20, 2007 2:53 PM

It was probably a flicker eating ants, one of their favorite foods.

Posted by john james | June 20, 2007 2:58 PM

#13, that doesn't explain why Adrian would think it was a woodpecker.

Again, flickers don't look like woodpeckers are "supposed" to. He would have just thought: "hey, that's a bird on the sidewalk."

Posted by Eric | June 20, 2007 3:07 PM

So I hear Adrian's a fuckin' dork...

Posted by Jordyn | June 20, 2007 3:08 PM


There aren't only "two birds normally identified as woodpeckers", there are many. And flickers are relatively large woodpeckers, not "smaller".

Posted by john james | June 20, 2007 3:11 PM

matt, I suggest you bite me.

Flickers aren't full-on woodpeckers because they're smaller and their coloring is less dramatic than the birds most people think of when they think of a woodpecker. In that regard, they are "less than" what most people imagine when they use the word "woodpecker."

Jesus. When you're done biting me I suggest you take an intro course in linguistics.

Posted by Judah | June 20, 2007 3:15 PM

I can't believe you are fighting about woodpeckers. I am going to join though - this is fun.

Flickers are as woodpecker as any woodpecker, they are actually pretty big (i think the only bigger ones around here are pileated woodpeckers). They are pretty obviously woodpeckers (even to people that aren't bird geeks) becuase they are almost always pecking the way woodpeckers do. There is always one by my house pecking on the roof or near the sidewalk and my bird-ignorant friends always say, "wow what a cool looking woodpecker."

Posted by lanik | June 20, 2007 3:25 PM

Really, lanik? "Pretty obviously"? I don't think so.

Adrian wrote: "the sight of what was clearly a woodpecker."

Okay, if it were in a tree pecking, then you wouldn't have to be a bird geek to ID it as a woodpecker of some kind. But if it's behaving really strangely -- i.e. standing on the sidewalk -- I seriously doubt that a non-bird-geek would assume it was definitely a woodpecker.

But Adrian can clear it up: what did it look like?

Posted by Eric | June 20, 2007 3:31 PM

I was there. I can verify it was a woodpecker and not a FLICKER.

Posted by matt | June 20, 2007 3:34 PM

It's a confused woodpecker. Throughout his life he was scorned and ridiculed by all of the other woodpeckers, but the Flickers accepted him for who he truly was deep down inside: Edwin, The Fearless Sidewalk Pecker! Can we agree on that? Consensus?

Posted by Mr. Poe | June 20, 2007 3:59 PM

Adrian, was there any sap coming out of the sidewalk at all, because, you know, maybe it was a yellow-bellied sapsucker, which is, you know, kind of a sort of lesserish woodpecker, too.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | June 20, 2007 4:08 PM

I just took some pictures of a flicker the other day, he was standing in my driveway pecking ants out of a crack in the pavement.

Flickers may not look just like woodpeckers but they certainly look like they belong to the woodpecker family.

Posted by j | June 20, 2007 4:44 PM

i have a headache. let's all go watch a pretty sunset.

what am i saying? FUCK SUNSETS!

Posted by adrian! | June 20, 2007 4:44 PM

Are you sure it wasn't a sunrise? Because they can look pretty similar to the untrained eye.

What direction was it coming from?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 21, 2007 10:58 AM

Midgets aren't full-on humans because they're smaller and their coloring is less dramatic than the humans most people think of when they think of a human.

Posted by cochise. | June 21, 2007 1:14 PM

how much wood would a woodpecker peck if a woodpecker could peck...concrete!

hey, everyone? It's a fucking bird with a specialized beak that friggin' PECKS!!

I thank you all for the devolved conversation, but can we get on with how stoned adrian was!

Thank you.

Posted by berlin | June 21, 2007 10:09 PM

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