Monday, 31 January 2011

Gallery: Black Woodpecker Leaving Nest

Male Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius leaving its nesting cavity. Photo taken in Hungary in spring 2010 by Laszlo Becsy.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

More Black Woodpecker Feeding holes

More holes made by a foraging Black Woodpecker Dryocopos martius in a swamp alder wood near Ocsa, Hungary. Note the oval shape of the largest one, which is typical, though it is not a nesting hole entrance.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Classic Black Woodpecker Foraging Holes

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

Black Woodpecker Monograph

I would like to announce that my book on Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius is due to be published this July. Click here for some advanced details from the publisher: Black Woodpecker Monograph

Monday, 3 January 2011

Black Woodpecker: iris mark

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.