Beggs Couple Uses Camera To Capture Tree 'Vandalism' Culprit

Thursday, May 1st 2014, 10:01 am
By: Richard Clark

A Beggs couple has tracked down the culprit responsible for "vandalizing" a tree on their ranch.

Larry and Zandra Christy, 70, noticed strange damage done to a tree near a barn on their cattle ranch a few weeks ago.

They've lived on the property for 40 years. They love its hills, trees and pasture land and especially the wildlife with which they share the land.

They've seen bald eagles, deer, turkeys, coyotes, bobcats and bears. When they noticed the damaged tree they initially suspected a bear may have been responsible.

The tree was hollowed out from top to bottom by something that left large wood chips. Mystified by the sight, the Christys shared photos of it on the share page, hoping other users could help them solve the mystery.

They also set up a wildlife camera.

A News On 6 staffer who'd just seen a pileated woodpecker in the woods near Oologah days before suggested the same kind of strange bird could have caused the damage to the Christys' tree.

Sure enough, the wildlife camera snapped a photo of a pileated woodpecker looking for a meal at the tree again.

The pileated woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in the United States. Adults can grow to 19 inches in length. They eat insects, especially carpenter ants and the larvae of wood-boring beetles. They also eat fruits, nuts and berries. 

The Christys say this is the first time they've ever seen a pileated woodpecker.

"This 'mystery of the tree' has been the talk of the coffee shop as well as lots of inquiries by our family," said Zandra.

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