Hagridden. It means tormented or harassed.
I stumbled across this word the other day and have been waiting for a chance to use it. And yes – I freely confess that I’m not just a bird nerd; I’m a bit of a word nerd too.
So – here goes –
The young red-bellied woodpeckers that visit my backyard are often hagridden by their protective parents. A typical scenario goes something like what I saw today.
A mother woodpecker (pictured below) arrived in search food.
Before coming to the feeders, she placed her youngster in the safety of a tree a good distance away and told him to stay put.
This little guy (isn’t he adorable!) decided to ignore Mom’s instructions and ventured too close for her comfort. When she saw his misbehavior, she rushed to him and pecked at him rather fiercely, all the while squawking her displeasure. Then they flew off to the outskirts of the yard.
The red-bellied parents may seem like harsh disciplinarians as they hagride (I snuck in the verb form) their little ones, but it’s really just “tough love.” If the youngsters were allowed to wander about out in the open they would be easy prey. And besides, don’t all good parents hagride their children just a bit?