Nest holes, es­pe­cially wood­peck­ers

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Mouth -

Our three reg­u­lar nest­ing wood­pecker species all ex­ca­vate their own nest­ing cav­i­ties, by pa­tient pick­ing away (with their bills) in tree trunks and thick branches. This ex­ca­va­tion is not to be con­fused with the drum­ming sound which the two spot­ted wood­peck­ers make. Drum­ming is a rapid rat­tling burst of sound, made by high speed tap­ping of the bill on a res­o­nant branch to make a far-reach­ing me­chan­i­cal ‘song’. Ex­ca­va­tion is an al­to­gether slower, and more pow­er­ful, ac­tion, in or­der to chisel away bark and wood, piece by piece. The three species are all very dif­fer­ent in size; the Lesser Spot­ted is spar­row-sized, the Great Spot­ted not too dif­fer­ent in size from a Star­ling, and the Green is roughly Mis­tle Thrush-sized. The gen­eral rule of nest holes is that birds choose, or make a hole into which they can just fit, while larger, po­ten­tially threat­en­ing species can’t get in. This is re­flected in the three wood­peck­ers nest holes. Lesser Spot­ted Wood­pecker holes are small (look­ing like a hole in a Great Tit nest­box); Great Spot­ted Wood­pecker holes are mid-sized, and Green Wood­pecker holes look very big. All three of our wood­peck­ers pro­duce round holes, usu­ally in rel­a­tively soft wood. You may also find trees and stumps of dead trees with many par­tially com­plete ‘prac­tice’ holes, where wood­peck­ers have been try­ing out their tech­nique.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.