Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Downy Woodpecker Nest Site

Though rough weather was headed our way I still decided to take a trip to Sabine Woods to try and photograph a pair of Downy woodpeckers at their nest hole that was brought to my attention by some fellow birders. Besides with spring migration going on this is actually the best time to be in this area due to fallout possibilities. When I arrived the sky was threatening, but only allowing a light drizzle to fall, so I donned my rain jacket, put on some mosquito repellent and headed in. The downy pair were not returning as often to the nest to feed the nestlings as they were a few days ago. This is possibly due to the difference in weather whereas the other day was sunny and mild. This prolonged return was making it very difficult to capture a photograph. I would've had to hold my camera focused and ready on the hole to get one. Also during my last visit the nestlings were totally quiet- not a peep. Today their chirping was incessant. I was there for two hours and not once did they stop. Seems this could be detrimental to the nest in that it could attract predators. Over these two hours, as I said, I didn't get a photo, but what I did get just by luck was a short video on my digital camera of the female near the nest hole right after she had fed the nestlings. To my surprise it came out pretty darn good.

Note: If you watch closely and listen you'll notice something. Before she flies away she taps the tree twice. Does this have any significance? Was this a way of telling the youngsters she was leaving? The next time I'm there I'll have to pay more attention to see if this behavior occurs again. If anyone out there reading this has any ideas or have seen this before please let me know.

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