Beech Wildlife Column: Listen to our woodpeckers

Often a fourth species might also be noticed – the wryneck, though this species is a passerine chook.

The nice noticed woodpecker is a medium-sized, extensively distributed chook that inhabits a woodland habitat however can be seen in city parks and gardens. Grownup males are black and white with a particular purple spot below the tail and purple nape.

Females look comparable however with a black nape and no purple in any respect. Juveniles may be recognized by their purple foreheads, which shall be changed by black once they molt within the fall.

These woodpeckers have an undulating flight that consists of a mix of fast wing rhythms and quick gliding because the birds enterprise from tree to tree.

Though their flight sample is kind of distinctive, it’s a lot simpler to listen to an awesome noticed woodpecker than to identify it.

The nice noticed has three unmistakable sorts of calls: a high-pitched “chik” sound; the “krrakkaarr” name is the longest babbling; And the well-known “drums”.

The primary is a typical woodpecker name which can be within the type of a single sound or as a repeating string, though it isn’t thought-about a tune. Along with their vocal calls, every species of woodpecker additionally has a novel “drum”. Drumming is finished by quickly tapping the trunk of a tree and ranges from 8 to twenty beats per second.

This technique of communication is usually used to mark territories or to draw companions. Drumsticks are most typical originally of the breeding season, which is spring and early summer time.

The nice noticed woodpecker is omnivorous, feeding totally on bugs, larvae, seeds, eggs, and fruits, however may also simply regulate its weight-reduction plan primarily based on seasonal availability. Within the fall and winter, woodpeckers are sometimes seen at chook feeders munching on fats balls and nuts.

After I started my journey in wildlife images and birdwatching, I used to be unaware of the vocal calls made by woodpeckers and relied solely on their simply recognizable drumming.

As I began spending extra time with my digital camera and observing woodpeckers, I additionally acquired to know the “chik” and “krrakkaarr” calls which at the moment are my principal identification instruments whereas strolling.

Though I’ve my favourite native spots to see the fantastic noticed woodpecker, this species may be simply noticed throughout East Lothian.

In winter, as a result of restricted protection, I prefer to seek for unoccupied woodpecker nests.

The nest is situated in a gap dug in a tree, which is often a minimum of two meters above the bottom.

Woodpeckers hardly ever use the identical nest once more; Nevertheless, it isn’t unusual to see them carrying a recent gap in the identical tree. If I discover an current gap in a tree, I would come again within the spring to see if the woodpecker household has moved in.

You will need to view any energetic nest from a distance utilizing binoculars in order that the birds aren’t disturbed.

Within the spring, when the drumming is in full swing and the sound travels to the deepest elements of the forest bouncing off the bushes, it provides me nice pleasure to hearken to this soothing music.

Through the lockdown I used to be spoiled by woodpecker encounters as I might see a minimum of one chook on every of my walks.

One encounter close to Prestongrange Museum caught in my reminiscence. Chris and I had been mountain climbing within the woods and we each heard the acquainted “stylish” name. We had been capable of hint its supply and slowly headed in that course.

Usually, I am the one who spots wildlife first, however this time Chris was within the highlight (which makes my defeat memorable) and identified an previous birch with a minimum of a dozen holes in it.

Seconds later, we noticed a male woodpecker coming down the tree with a beak stuffed with bugs, in all probability caught for his household. This was an indication that we must always go away them in peace.

Leave a Comment