Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Black-backed Woodpecker nest in Sinclair

Geoff LeBaron and I found a woodpecker nest in Sinclair midday on 18 June.

We were birding near a midsized wetland in a boreal area and we were alerted to the nest by the incessant and very loud begging calls coming from a snag. The dead spruce stump had several holes in it and though we watched from a distance for quite a while, we were unable to see any activity or even figure out which hole held the youngsters. The snag was surrounded by apparently deep, dark, mucky bog water and we couldn't inspect any closer than ~ 50 feet. Though the begging juvie occasionally gave a rattling squawk among the steady squeaky begging calls, there were few other clues to the identity of the bird(s) and we ended up leaving the area without confirming the ID of the bird.

The following morning Tom Sayers and I returned and spent an hour watching the nest. it didn't take long before the parents showed up and revealed that this was a Black-backed Woodpecker nest! We were able to get great views as the male (predominantly) and the female brought food to the begging youngster. Though there may have been more out of sight in the cavity it sounded and appeared that there was only one juvenile.

The young male looked just about ready to fledge and was already sporting a bit of a yellow crest.

Tom got these fantastic shots of the family that morning and allowed me to share them here.

1 comment:

Hilke Breder said...

Terrific sequence! Thanks for sharing.