Pesky woodpecker leaves future of iconic flagpole in Quebec up in the air
The fate of the tallest flagpole East of Parliament Hill is up in the air all thanks to a woodpecker, according to officials in the town of Baie-D’Urfé.
The massive flag that once flew on the Bertold Park flagpole has been taken down for safety concerns.
The culprit behind the city’s decision returns on a daily basis. A male pileated woodpecker has been wreaking havoc lately.
Considered one of the largest woodpecker species in North America; the bird has been pecking away at the 55-year-old B.C. fir log flagpole, leaving significant craters in the wood.
The damage left behind from the bird’s foraging is cause for concern, forcing city officials to remove the flag and erect a safety perimeter until the structural integrity of the pole is tested.
Officials from the town of Baie-D’Urfé would not comment but said in a statement that they are examining their options, which include either “repairing or replacing the historic flagpole.”
“It’s a gorgeous bird and when the sun shines on its crest, it’s even nicer,” Baie-D’Urfe resident Barbara MacDuff said.
Bird watchers can see the woodpecker on a regular basis in the waterfront park.
“I think there must be insects in the tree and that is why the bird is there. I don’t think the bird is causing any problem. I don’t see that pole falling down,” MacDuff said.
News of the notorious woodpecker has taken flight throughout the town, making residents like Michael Eskenazi laugh.
“It’s certainly light news. It’s worth a laugh. This stuff happens,” Eskenazi said.
A sailor in the city yacht club, Eskenazi said he would like to see the landmark pole remain a part of the waterfront.
“I love that flag because I’m a proud Canadian but I also love the fact that I can see the flag from anywhere from the lake,” Eskenazi said.
The city has yet to announce plans for the future of the flagpole.
The flagpole was erected in 1967 to commemorate Canada’s centennial year and is a tribute to a former mayor, Thomas Roch Lee.
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