Saturday, July 12, 2014

Getting the children to move out...

Many of us remember when our children moved out of our home. It is a watershed moment. I witnessed how this happens for the Red-headed Woodpeckers.  As these young grow larger, the nest just will not hold them, but they are reluctant given that this home is all that they have known. Sound familiar?  Some coaxing is called for.

At this point in time, the chicks associate their parents with food, lots of food.  It's an increasing pace for the adults to keep up.  So, the parent comes roaring in with another morsel to eat.  The alpha chick is at the opening ready to eat.

The adult Red-headed Woodpecker shows the chick the food.

Looks good, doesn't it?  Well, come and get it!

It's right down here.  Just climb out and help yourself.  The chicks tries but just can't muster up the courage.  So, like a good parent, the adult gives in this time.

But, the tempting continues as the morning progresses.

On the next day, I read a report from another observer that there was a grey woodpecker fledgling seen outside the nest. The parents succeeded,and a new part of life is unfolding for the chick. 

This saga began, for me, on May 19 as I photographed the parents hauling beaks full of wood chips from their nest cavity. It is July 12 now, and the cavity is quiet.  The chicks are out in the world learning to survive.  It is likely that only one, or at best two, will make it to begin this cycle for their nest generation.  It has been a marvel to observe this. I hope that you have enjoyed this series of posts as much as I have treasured the experience.

I am asking myself if they will attempt a second brood, and if so, will it be where it can be seen?

Paul Schmitt

No comments:

Post a Comment