Tuesday, 12 June 2012

'Peckers Progress

I'm sure you all noticed the deliberate mistake in my last post, calling the young woodpecker a "fledgling". As it was still being fed in the nest by its parents, it should really have been called a "nestling" - or perhaps just a "chick". A young bird is not a fledgling until it has fully grown its flight feathers and can flutter about a bit in the great outdoors. Just keeping you on your toes.

I saw a chick appear at the hole again on both 4 and 5 June, but since then no sightings of the young (I'm being positive and assuming that there is more than one) and no sound coming from the nest. At sundown on 9 June, however, Sue saw an adult Great Spotted Woodpecker fly into the hole. As the chick I saw looked very healthy, we are fairly confident that they have now fledged, but perhaps the family is still returning to the nest at dusk to roost.

Not looking too thrilled to see us (photo by Ruby)
At this stage of their lives, the fledglings will still be around the park somewhere and will still be being fed bill-to-bill by their parents. They should be easily identifiable by the red crown which will not disappear until their first moult in the autumn. Please let us know if you see them. This excellent You Tube video clip shows a fledgling being fed.

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