An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Hairy Woodpeckers Raising Young

6-3-13 hairy woodpecker looking right 330The chipping of hungry Hairy Woodpecker nestlings can easily be detected by human ears, even though it comes from deep within a tree cavity. One is reminded of how beneficial this species is when observing the steady delivery of food by these woodpeckers to their young. More than 75% of an adult Hairy Woodpecker’s diet consists of injurious insects, while the amount of useful insects and cultivated fruits that they destroy is insignificant. Beetle larvae (mostly wood-boring) make up 30% of the insects that are consumed, with ants ranking second, at 17%. Caterpillars, such as those pictured, comprise about 10% of an adult Hairy Woodpecker’s diet, but given this parent’s beakful, one wonders if the percentage is greater for nestlings.

3 responses

  1. Yum!

    June 3, 2013 at 2:36 pm

  2. After I initially left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify
    me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on every time
    a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment.
    There has to be a way you can remove me from that service?

    Thank you!

    June 29, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    • I’m afraid I have no control over wordpress. They do everything at that end. You’ll have to contact them, which may be easier said than done. I am so sorry!

      June 29, 2013 at 12:48 pm

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