Thursday, June 09, 2011

Male Woodpecker Feeding Hungry Youngster

Since we got back from holiday I have seen many birds feeding their young. The parent normally comes to my feeding station and then flies off with its beak full of food to the impatient young bird, sometimes a very short distance away.

I have seen the usual great tits and blue tits caring for their offspring, but also nuthatches and even tree creepers, who normally prefer to stay down the bottom of the garden. But the best spectacle on offer are the woodpeckers.

You are often alerted to what is going on by the calling of the hungry youngster. Its helpless and clumsy behaviour reveals its youth. It is very common that the young bird is as big or bigger than the parent, but the colours on the woodpecker’s head gives it away. The adult male has got a red patch at the back of the head and a juvenile at the front or all over the head. The female’s head is all black. The adult in the sequence below was working his little cotton socks off to satisfy the culinary needs of his offspring. Recognise yourself anybody?

(Photos taken through a bedroom window with a heavy 300 mm handheld lens!)

Male woodpecker feeding young 01 film png   Here comes daddy with some yummy food!

Male woodpecker feeding young 02 film png   I am hungry!

Male woodpecker feeding young 03 film png   Left side or right side?

Male woodpecker feeding young 04 film png   OK, this side. Here you are.

Male woodpecker feeding young 05 film png   Here is one for mummy.

Male woodpecker feeding young 06 film png   And here is one for granny.

Male woodpecker feeding young 07 film png   Another one for uncle Albert.

Male woodpecker feeding young 08 film png   This is the last bite for now.

Male woodpecker feeding young 09 film png   Great, daddy is off for more! I am starving!


janeywan said...

Lol just like human kids! What a treat for you to photograph it all. You must have very clean windows!

Not the same kind of woodpeckers that we have, think this species is smart enough not to build it's nest in the side of someones house.

swenglishexpat said...

Thanks Janey. I have to confess, we have a window cleaner who does the outside. On occasion I clean the inside. ;-) Very happy to watch them OUTSIDE. Lol

ladyfi said...

Wow - what exquisite shots! Just marvellous. I definitely see the similarity to humans! LOL!

oreneta said...

VERY cool photos!

swenglishexpat said...

LadyFi and Oreneta - Thank you both for kind words. :-)

Anonymous said...

please can i ask...... the red on the back of the neck indicates a male woodpecker as far as i am aware........ females have only black heads i is it just the young that have red on top of their head as i have seen 3 different ones with different red spots in our garden . Please help. Thank you and p.s they are wonderful photos.