- Arts and Design
Woodpecker Chicks Fly The Nest
I am delighted by the drama in my front yard the last few weeks. The woodpecker that has frequented our Japanese Silk tree, for a number of years, has once again laid eggs in its trunk.
There is a nest of chickadees in the camellia bush about six feet from the tree that add their voice to the fray.
The cacophony of bird noise outside my bedroom window is quiet fascinating. This is the third year the woodpeckers have nested there. The first year I did everything to block the perfectly round hole that occurred in the trunk, but whatever it was kept going right through my plugs . Some years earlier we had noticed that a wood pecker had killed one of the limbs of this tree. It over hung the house so, we took it down and thought nothing of it. . The next year when a hole appeared next to the one I had blocked and a huge black bee started to buzz around the tree. I called vector control. The man came and looked at the hole and said,
"You have a woodpecker nesting in your tree". The bee is not Africanized, but rather carpenter bees. They lay their eggs in small holes of trees. There are seldom more than one or two of them and they are relatively harmless. The woodpecker on the other hand wouldn't be in your tree unless it was rotted inside."
Not wanting to think about removing trees at the moment I thanked the man, took his card and watched to see if there would be baby birds. My patience was rewarded and the babies started chirping in late May and one day, while I was tending the rose in front, the babies played peek-a-boo and finally came out.
After more hours just sitting watching the nest, than I care to admit, I took the dogs for a walk. I kept imagining I was hearing the momma woodpecker. About a quarter of a mile from home I stopped to chat with a friend. There in a tree just past her house was mother woodpecker. I had been trying to photograph her for a week. There she was clear as can be. My phone didn't have that kind of range so I was never able to get a clear picture of her.
I saw her about a mile from the house while I was getting gas one day. I imagined she was keeping an eye on me. It is like I have a pet woodpecker.
Life got busy and I didn't look at the nest for two days.
As I awoke on the third morning there was quiet. They were gone. Nothing but a perfectly round hole in my tree to indicate they had been there.
There are three different types of woodpeckers that could be enjoying the bugs in my tree; California, Nuttal, and Acorn. The specific type will have to wait until someone with birding experience comes my way.
It is spring again. I have heard woodpeckers in the neighborhood, but didn't think they were my woodpeckers. Sunday while working on the garden one of my furry friends buzzed past me. They have come home to roost again.
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