Sunday, 14 December 2008

Woodpecker woodchips and hole

Woodchips at the base of trees are usually evidence of woodpecker activity. Woodchips pile up below freshly excavated below feeding sites (as in this photo) and below nest holes. The size and shape of the hole and the size of the chips indicate that in this case Black Woodpecker Dryocopus martius was responsible. This is a tyical example of where a bird has been searching for carpenter ants, which have their colonies inside tree trunks. The hole was some 30cm long by 16cm wide and 20cm deep (two adult hands could easily fit inside). Thus, the woodpecker must have at times been totally inside the hole and trunk when excavating it and extracting the prey. The clean, white hole rim, pale dry chips and powdery sawdust on the tree all indicate recent activity. Photo taken near Subotica, Serbia, in November 2009.

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