"Attack of the Tree Eating Aliens" is the twentieth episode of the second season of Wild Kratts, originally airing in America on June 7, 2013. Overall, it is the sixtieth episode of the series. This episode was written and directed by Wild Kratts executive producer and creator Chris Kratt.
The episode begins with a live action segment. The Kratt brothers say that a healthy ecosystem is one that is in balance, and without this "balance", there is trouble. Afterwards, they say their "What if?" question and the show transitions into the cartoon segment.
Jimmy is pulling the Kratt brothers, who are hang gliding as he flies the Tortuga. He makes sharp turns, which are much to their enjoyment, except for Koki and Aviva. Then they all receive an alarm from Wild Kratts kids, who say that the trees around them are dying, and they do not know why. Jimmy is ordered to immediately take the Tortuga down, causing the Kratt brothers to get flung directly into the Wild Kratts kids' clubhouse.
Martin activates Squirrel Power to take a closer look at the top of the tree, while Chris and Wild Kratts kid Aidan take a look below. At first, they see nothing wrong.
Back at the Tortuga, Jimmy hears a knocking sound, but no one is at the door.
Martin continues climbing up the tree, when he gets distracted by falling seeds. Chris gets him to stay focused, and then, Aidan notices small holes on the tree.
After responding to what appears to be knocking, a woodpecker pecks at Jimmy's forehead when he decides to open the window. Since woodpeckers make hole in trees, Aviva and Koki are sure that the woodpecker is the reason why the forest's trees are losing their color.
Aviva shows the Kratt brothers the pileated woodpecker, which is knocking on a tree. Martin climbs up the tree, and Chris follows suit after he activates Raccoon Power. They follow the woodpecker to the tree it is in. Just when Chris gets a scan, the woodpecker flies away to Martin's location, and starts drilling into the tree, leading Martin to refer to him as Headbanger. Chris notices that the hole Headbanger made looks different than the holes in the dying tree, but Aviva is not convinced, and heads back to the Tortuga to make a Woodpecker Power Suit.
Later, Martin follows Headbanger to his nest, which is a hollow knothole. Then a pine marten comes into view and attacks Headbanger, who is able to escape through another hole. Then the pine marten turns its attention to Martin, and chases him across the forest canopy. He calls Koki, and he says that he is being chased by a marten. Koki does not understand, thinking that Martin is chasing himself. Koki and one of the kids decide to go back to the Tortuga. Afterwards, Martin is able to escape the pine marten.
After seeing Headbanger making more holes in another tree and picking out some insects, Aviva finishes the Woodpecker Disc, and Jimmy teleports it and a woodpecker feather. Chris activates Woodpecker Power, and starts drilling with his beak, but fails to drill in one place at once. Martin grabs and presses Chris's deactivation button in time, and he deactivates on contact with the ground. While Chris is still dizzy, Martin sends Aviva a scan, which shows why the woodpecker can drill without the risk of getting concussions. Then Aidan finds some tunnels under some holes where Chris drilled. Martin miniaturizes and enters a random hole to investigate. Not long after, he bumps into an insect, and finds out that this insect is responsible for the holes and tunnels. Martin delivers a scan to Koki, who realizes that this insect is non-native, and later sends an alert to all Wild Kratts kids. Chris then explains to everyone that woodpeckers do no real damage, while the non-native insects damage the important under-bark vessels, and afterwards, Koki and Aviva "apologize" to Headbanger.
The Wild Kratts receive an alert from Chinese Wild Kratts kid Yi, who explains that the insects are Asian longhorn beetles and they are native to China, where they are also predated upon. Then Chris and Aidan see Headbanger try to make a hole where Martin is. To save Martin, Chris is teleported a Woodpecker Power Disc. He activates Woodpecker Power, and starts drilling successfully. Chris is able to pull Martin out with the Suit's tongue, while Headbanger gets a beetle.
The brothers round up some beetles so they can take them back to China.
The show transitions into the concluding live action segment. The Kratt brothers are in a forest invaded by ash borer beetles. To aid the forest, the two and some Wild Kratts kids nail artificial woodpecker homes onto trees. Afterwards, they conclude the episode by saying "Keep on creature adventuring, we'll see you on the creature trail!".
- Pileated woodpecker: Headbanger
Key facts and Creature Moments
- The main reason why introduced species can be devastating is that it often "tips the balance" between predator and prey.
- Woodpeckers do not risk brain damage when drilling because of the shape of its beak and a shock absorber in front of its brain.