Wednesday, 19 January 2011
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
Classic, new holes made by a Black Woodpecker Dryocopos martius that has searched for Carpenter Ants. Note that the tree is hollow inside and this is where these arboreal ants have their colony. Some say that woodpeckers that do this have "destroyed" or "killed" the tree, but in fact the tree already has heart-rot, is hollow, and is already mostly useless for timber.
Wednesday, 5 January 2011
Monday, 3 January 2011
A high percentage of Black Woodpeckers Dryocopos martius show irregular shapes and marks in the eye. In particular, this concerns a pear-shaped black mark on the iris (see photo here and above in the blog banner). This is found on both sexes and across the global range; it is not confined to any one local population. Furthermore, no other woodpecker seems to exhibit this to the same extent. It is unclear what the function, if any, of this feature is. I will have a note on this subject in an upcoming issue of the UK journal British Birds and will post here when it is published.