Since mid-October a woodpecker has been doing what woodpeckers do — to the outside of the John W. Wells Youth Center, and those who work at the center aren’t taking it lightly.
The bird, known as a red-shafted northern flicker of the genus Colaptes auratus cafer, is red under the tail and wings, and has red shafts.
Red shaft and all, this single bird, one of the largest North American woodpeckers, is nearly the size of one of the city’s infamous crows. According to parks planning manager John Scarborough the bird is creating havoc around the Youth Center.
“He was practically building a full-on condominium at that spot,” said Scarborough, pointing to a large metal plate fastened to an exposed beam. The hole the bird had bored into the board was big enough for the bird to get into the ceiling. After the plate was installed to cover his first effort the pesky woodpecker simply moved around the corner of the building to two other locations above the west entrance...