Like a jazz player beating out a drum roll, a woodpecker uses its bill to rap out a brisk series of notes. Early spring resounds with the percussive hammering of woodpeckers. Their rhythmic drumming says to other woodpeckers, “This is my territory!” We also hear them knocking on wood when they carve holes in trees to create nest cavities or reach insects. For any woodpecker, it’s all about proclaiming a signal as far and as loud as possible. Look for Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, like this one, in the Northeast and farther north, and Red-breasted Sapsuckers in the West.