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Bronze sculpture of 2 woodpeckers builing a cat.
Detail of the head of a cat sculpture with a woodpecker sitting on it, wiring it together.

Pecking Orders

23"h x12"l x 9"w; 
Photo by Melisa Kroening
Bronze sculpture of 2 woodpeckers building a cat.
Details of the barbed-wire claws of a bronze cat sculpture.

For the size of a bird’s brain, they are pretty cleaver creatures! With my piece, “Pecking Orders”, I’m working from the point of view of the woodpeckers. I don’t think of it as a huge stretch of the imagination, that these birds, in a turf battle, might utilize their remarkable skills to create a deterrent to interlopers, such as a cleverly crafted evil looking cat, to scare away competitors. My admiration of their craftiness shows in the lathe turned legs of the cat, as though it were within the scope of any woodpecker, to chip out any shape whatsoever that it wants to. A bit of showing off, by the birds, seems appropriate to the boastful nature of their courtship rituals. Ounce for ounce, I think we are fortunate that birds don’t have brains the size of ours, or we might have gone the way of dinosaurs. 

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