Friday, July 1, 2011

Woodpeckers Fledge

I spent a fascinating few weeks watching a pair of woodpeckers raise their chicks.
This photograph was taken a few minutes before one chick fledged.

The nest hole was at least 15ft high so I set my hide on top of two stacked potato boxes.

I then rigged up a remotely-controlled camera on the other side of the hole so that I had an all-round view of the action. The female seemed quite happy about my rig-up.

But the male was far more cautious and peered at me suspiciously the first time he came in with some grubs for the chicks.He would hang upside down looking for grubs under the bark close to the nest hole and was very adapt at prizing off the bark.Woodpeckers take in food on their way in and take droppings out on their way out.
Sometimes they fed the chicks on aphids gathered from the leaves of the tree the hole was in.

I watched as the chicks became bold enough to venture out of the hole. The adult pair encouraged the chicks to fledge by easing off on their food supplies. The chicks got so hungry they actually pecked at their parent's feet in frustration, before they eventually took the plunge and emerged from the hole.
It was a pleasure to see them eventually fledge. To read more about this story click here to link to this week's Ryedale Gazette & Herald.


  1. Thank you, Robert! This is an absolutely fascinating post. You really know how to get great photos of the wildlife.

  2. what was the remote camera setup made up of? looks good!