"When we bought our home here in Eckert, there were two colonies of Lewis in our big, old Cottonwoods. So we've watched them for nearly twenty years. They are very territorial and will not allow other birds in their domain. They do very un-woodpecker-like things: they sit on telephone wires, they hawk flying-insects, they hoard food (they fashion the tidbit into cracks and crannies in the tree bark), they live in family colonies and won't accept other Lewis's, they don't create nesting holes but just re-fashion whatever is available. And, they're territorial to a ridiculous degree!
We don't have any other woodpeckers (including Flickers), or any bird like a Chickadee or a Titmouse or a Nuthatch! The dominant Lewis's won't tolerate the neighbor's cat! So, Lewis's can be a bit of a pain, but a fun bird to have and to watch. ...E"I am not sure if my new friend means the Lewis's chased the other birds away, or that she didn't have these birds in her yard to begin with...and so enjoyed the Lewis's. What I know is this, the Lewis's in my yard chases anything he considers to be a threat to his food source. I've watched him buzz nuthatches, chickadees and other woodpeckers. This morning he spent at least twenty minutes running off a Downey he found at another feeder; chasing it from tree to tree as the little guy tried to hide. And just now I watched him go several rounds with a squirrel, chasing up and down and round and round a big cottonwood where he hides kibble. He even tries to run off the big magpies that come to the feeder he likes best.
This morning, I only put out the fat-worms and some peanuts. Perhaps with the lack of the kibble...the Lewis's will move on. As beautiful as he is and as honored as I feel to have him visit here, I really don't think I want to encourage a family from moving into the neighborhood!
My online friend, Mike Ross, graciously sent me these sweet photos of a Lewis's Woodpecker. You can see it is such a pretty thing...and often sits on a pole in just this way.