Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Great Spotted Woodpecker Nest Update.

To follow up my earlier post on the Great Spotted Woodpecker I have made a couple of revisits to the nest site during this past week to check on the activity.

On both occasions the conditions; an overcast sky, windy with the constant threat of rain in the air; were not entirely favourable for getting quality images so I had to ramp up the ISO and here are a few of the images that didn't end up in the recycle bin.

As on my previous encounter the youngsters were very vocal but this time they occasionally made a brief appearance prior to one of the parents returning from their lengthy foraging flights.

Unlike their parents the juveniles have red foreheads that are replaced by black as they moult in the autumn. It is difficult to estimate how many are in the nest as different individuals force their way to the entrance to be fed. 
This species has a single brood with usually a clutch of between 4-6 eggs and fledging takes 20-24 days. The current trend of wet weather may well have reduced the number of available insects and I noted that the time between the adults visits was distinctly longer than my first observation at the nest site.

The final look says it all ... "When will they be back with more?"

I will certainly try to revisit them next week to check on progress again.  FAB.


  1. red foreheads replaced by black! how interesting! such beauties!

  2. Hi Frank.... lucky you to find woodpecker babies!! I would love to see those little heads peering out of a hole in a tree here! I probably could if I wondered in the back woods, but I hate ticks and the last time I was out in the spring I got them on me Yuck!!
    Amazing the way nature works, who would believe those little red caps would turn black!!


  3. It's good to see that things are progressing well Frank. I only hope that the parent birds can find enough food during this, how shall I put it... rather damp period?...[;o)

  4. Marvelous!!!. Nice pics.. Congrats..

  5. Theresa. They say you learn something new every day!

    Hi Grace. The youngsters make a lot of noise so not so difficult to locate a nest. Yes, we are fortunate not to be troubled by ticks, just mud up to our armpits!!

    Trevor. Rather damp is an understatement. I agree, difficult times for all our breeding species.

    Ana. Many thanks.

  6. Even with the high ISO you got some terrific shots! Amazing birds, so beautiful and interesting. How neat that they go from red heads to black...usually it's the other way around.

  7. Hi Frank, great to see these photos too. You've got some really beaut shots and I can imagine how thrilling it must be to have found this nest. We're really privileged to be seeing it through your posts :D)

  8. Wonderful series, Frank! That last shot is so cute.

  9. Lovely to see the young popping their heads out.....I love the last image :)

  10. Hi Frank These are tremendous shots of these beautiful birds and you are so fortunate to have found a nest and can watch all the activity even you are up to your armpits in mud!!!

  11. That is brilliant Frank in spite of the poor weather conditions.

  12. We too have had a wet, cold spring. Thanks for bringing us along, this was a great find.

  13. I loved this series of photos. Not something you get to see everyday!


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