Ornithological News Flash! Woody takes a Mate! (Clarens News 31 August 2012) The Clarens News has been inundated with requests for more information on Woody, the itinerant woodpecker who blunted his beak and ego on the town’s MTM mast and is now courting a chick called Doris (Clarens News, 23 August). Speculation about Woody’s origins and background have been resolved by hours of careful observation from the hide atop the Bibliophile bookshop: Woody is confirmed to be a member of the genus Geocolaptes olivaceus, or Ground Woodpecker, endemic to South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho. It has a highly specialized diet, and eats only Mosaic pizzas with extra anchovies and olives, licking them up with its sticky tongue. Woody and Doris have apparently concluded their courtship and nuptials as further observation confirms that they are digging a tunnel and egg chamber underneath the new, graffiti-free MTM battlements around the aforementioned mast. The tunnel is likely to hold 200-400 eggs, judging from their strenuous conversations, which may explain why this sandstone fortress is now listing dramatically to starboard. Coming issues of the Clarens News will feature pictures of the chicks being fed regurgitated pizzas, at least until the next breeding season. Contestants and guests at the Cluny Potjie Competition at the Bibliophile this Saturday are advised to hang onto their food and wear hard hats, as the Geocolaptes olivaceus will stop at nothing to get a beak-full of braised Moroccan lamb. Stay posted for the next chapter in life and times of Woody and Doris.