Monday, 24 September 2007

Holes: White-backed Woodpecker - natural hole use

This important photo shows an adult male White-backed Woodpecker (lilfordi race) in the Abruzzo mountains, central Italy (Paul Harris). This is a very interesting shot indeed as it captures the bird using a natural tree hole as a nesting site. It is very rare for a European woodpecker (except Wryneck) to nest in a tree-hole which it did not create itself. Though the entrance is "natural" it is thought that this White-backed pair pair adapted and enlarged the cavity to suit their needs. This breeding site was also successful, note the male has food items in his beak which he is about to offer to the chicks inside the cavity.

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