May 17, 2014

About to fledge

The young ladder-back woodpecker is getting ready to leave home. Good thing too: the parents have been so diligent feeding him that they are starting to look a bit gaunt. They fly in with insects (and perhaps flower buds?) every ten minutes or so. I know this because the nest, which is in a dead agave stalk, is about 12 feet from the kitchen window. Dan set up the camera on a tripod this morning to capture some of the activity.

Now is there just one chick, or is this guy standing on top of siblings down below?

My next task will be to ensure that the stalk is still securely tied down. The agave bloomed, and died, last year and as a rule the stalk and dead plant blow over in a good wind to reveal a new young agave pup at its base. When the woodpeckers started to make their nest, we tied it down to save ourselves the agony of having the stalk with eggs, or young, blow over. We have had very high winds this spring.


Elizabeth Musgrave said...

Never seen a ladderback woodpecker before. We have a greater spotted one which comes to our birdfeeder when the weather is cold. I am very taken by the idea of nesting in an agave stalk!

Anneke said...

The ladder back shows up just in the US SW. He is a fairly small bird, only 7" or so. No greater spotted one here.