GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKERS, LONDON
The babies have flown! On Friday morning, the sound from the tree was a cacophony, with both parents appearing to urge their kids to leave home. By the time Mrs Harbour got back from work in the evening, they were gone. The nest was empty, and there was silence. So we never said goodbye, but we can say “good luck”.
WEST INDIAN WOODPECKERS, ABACO
During the week, the babies have appeared with increasing bravery at the nest-hole
Feeding no longer involved a parent diving into the box with bugs, but feeding at the entrance
The heads began to stick out further…
…and the parents’ job got easier
At 6.47 a.m. this morning, the first fledgling took flight, first to the roof, then to a tree. He’ll hang around for a couple of days, being fed less and less until he can stand on his own two feet. Fly on his own two wings, even. Meanwhile his parents are getting on with their next stage of family planning. They are spending increasing time in and around the second nest box, and – there’s not getting around it – copulating in public. The results will be their third family of the season.
So all is well in woodpecker land. I’ll finish the story with a photo taken by Tom Sheley, a wildlife photographer from Ohio, and his magnificent image taken a couple of days ago. Imagine being a chick expecting a tasty bug and getting one this size rammed down your throat…
LATER Here’s a very short mobile phone video of a young squawker peering out at the wide world. I have better camera ones in another format, but for some reason WordPress is only accepting .MOV files at the moment…