May 2017 - Great Spotted Woodpecker Blog .....

Great Spotted Woodpecker

The Great Spotted Woodpeckers are Back !!!

So pleased the Great spotted Woodpeckers have decided to nest in the Quarry at the Dorothy Clive Garden again this year.

The first signs they had returned to the same tree as last year were some wood chippings around the base of the tree.
Great spotted Woodpecker
Looking up you can see a second hole to the right of last year’s nest.
Lots of comings and goings by both Male and Female are seen.
Great spotted Woodpecker
You can tell the difference between a male and female as the male has a red patch at the back of his neck.
The birds can be seen to and from the nest every ten or fifteen minutes.
Usually separately but occasionally they meet at the nest.
Great spotted Woodpecker
They bring a variety of food, from insects or bugs to suet (Fat balls) from a local bird feeder.
Great spotted Woodpecker
Interestingly these 2 birds have different characters.

When the female leaves the nest she flies straight away from the tree
Whereas the male nearly always hops to the top of the tree has a look around and then flies away.
The other interesting thing we noticed this evening, is it is always the male who removes the debris from the nest, he's doing the housework !!
Great spotted Woodpecker

Click here for a short Video of the Woodpecker-feeding-chic-at-nest

The Woodpecker chicks are growing quickly, the difference in the size and the sound in a week was unbelievable. The chicks call has been changing from a constant chip chip chip sound to now trying to copy the parent birds and doing a loud KLICK sound.
They are now covered in feathers and very active.

Chick Click here for a short video of chicks voice changing


Over the past weekend all the chicks have successfully left the nest !!!

They can be heard  and the parents seen around the Dorothy Clive Gardens . The parents are still as busy as ever as the fledglings are demanding lots of food, as they learn to feed themselves.

Short video of the Woodpecker feeding a Chick

Some interesting facts about Great Spotted Woodpeckers.      
The Woodpeckers nest at the top of a tree as they did here in
The Dorothy Clive Garden
The typical clutch is four to six glossy white eggs. Both parents incubate the eggs, The male incubate the eggs at night.
There are three stages in a baby bird’s growth: hatchling, nestling and fledgling and it’s easy to spot the differences. Hatchling birds are bald, nestlings are partially feathered and fledglings are fully feathered and hopping around although not quite ready to fly.
The young fledge in 20–24 days from hatching.
Incubation time: 14-16 days
Nestlings fledge after 20-24 days.
When the young fledge they are fed by the adults for about ten days, each parent taking responsibility for feeding part of the brood.

Since the young Great Spotted Woodpeckers have fledged the nest there has been lots of sightings of them and their parents at The Dorothy clive Garden..

Usually you hear them before seeing them, a loud KLICK sound. Although the youngster are now independent the parent birds are still keeping an eye on them.