The scene: One of Wayzata's busiest intersections.
What was happening: For the past couple of weeks, a pileated woodpecker had been chiseling a hole in the pole, most likely for nesting. When I showed up to take pictures, an official-looking man in an orange safety vest carrying a clipboard was standing at the base of the pole, looking up.
Me: Cool bird, huh?
Him: I'd like to kill it.
Me: Oooh, that could be expensive. The fines go up to 20 thousand bucks.
Him: Protected, eh?
Him: What is it?
Me: Pileated woodpecker.
Him: They protect all woodpeckers?
Me: All the nongame birds except house sparrows and starlings.
Him: He's weakening the pole.
Me: It's just a nest hole.
Him: If it falls, lot of people around here lose power.
Me: Are you going to do anything?
Him: Just nail some tin over the hole.
Me: Better do it before the bird lays eggs.
Him: Eggs protected, too?
And then: He leaves. When I'm taking my pictures, I notice, just below the hole the pileated is making, another piece of tin, probably covering an old hole. This is one determined pileated. And there's a lot of uncovered pole.