Woody the Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker at Pam and Jeep’s

The Piliated Woodpecker was used to model the cartoon character Woody the Woodpecker. It’s long body and red tufted crest were incorporated into the cartoon’s appearance. The inspiration for the character allegedly came during producer Walter Lantz’s honeymoon in the mountains of California. A noisy Acorn Woodpecker outside their cabin kept the couple awake at night, and when a heavy rain started, they learned that the bird had bored holes in their cabin’s roof. Walter wanted to shoot the bird, but his wife suggested that he make a cartoon about the bird, and thus Woody was born. An Acorn Woodpecker is a smaller bird than the Piliated that drills holes in wood and then places acorns in those holes. So, while the Acorn Woodpecker may not look as much like the cartoon character as the Piliated does, but it certainly has inherited the character’s annoying personality. Ha-ha-ha, ha, ha-ha-ha, ha!

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