We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
This species of the Southern longleaf pine forests (which have been harvested almost to extinction and re-planted with faster-growing commercial pines) has been in the news recently (see Monday links below). It has been endangered since the 1970s because of habitat loss. I have never seen one, but haven't spent any time trying to.
They are one of a very few bird species which are found only in the US. As with other woodpecks like Downies and Hairies, the red cockade is usually not visible.
These birds have unusual breeding habits: they are "cooperative" breeders, and the males incubate the eggs. Read about them here at CLO, from which we borrowed the photo.
What can be learned from the news story? I think the message is that the Feds cannot expect American citizens to roll over every time a Federal bureaucracy decides they know what is best. However, it is one of the jobs of the Feds, for better or worse, to try to protect endangered species. These are Federal laws and, in this case, their enforcement threatens individual property rights, which Americans feel as strongly about - or more so - than they do about the Second Amendment.
So if the Feds want to do their job effectively, they need to approach such issues in a humble, friendly, cooperative, compromising manner. In DC, far from the piney woods of North Carolina, it is all too easy to feel the power, and to forget who pays their salaries and for whom they work.
Poor woodpeckers! Your right, it is the law. I did not see/read this report, but after reading what you wrote, the first thing I thought was, wow, we need to take a step back and gain some perspective on this. I mean, think about it, we are talking about a species of bird that, if not protected, will disappear from the face of this earth. That is pretty serious, even for a woodpecker! Moreover, this is just one example of many that paints a larger picture, which is, thousands of species are or soon will be in trouble. It has gotten so bad that humans have moved up to the sixth greatest cause of extinction in earth’s history right behind the asteroid or comet that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago (see links below). That’s saying something. In the end, I think saving a species from extinction morally trumps any claim to property rights.