Every year science to a new level, and many unsolved mysteries are open to all comers. If we talk about the world of birds, then he is still not fully understood, but the lion’s share of secrets still hidden from the person.
For this reason, ornithologists and researchers pay much attention to study the different species of birds, including woodpeckers.
Today, these amazing animals are found practically everywhere, where there is a forest and trees. In nature, there are more than 200 types, each with their own characteristics and unique properties.
Great spotted woodpecker of the wood nurse
The largest representative of the family Matlovich is the great spotted woodpecker, which plays a very important role for forest ecosystems in our regions.
It can be found in European countries and North America, and not only in dense forests, but in city parks or human gardens. About the key aspects of the behavior, life cycle and unique properties of talk in our today’s article.
Great spotted woodpecker grows up to 25-36 inches in length, and its wingspan reaches 38-44 inches. The weight of an adult is more than 100 grams, but if you have good forage birds can dial and 120-140 grams of weight. To mix up this forest guard with other birds impossible, as the distinctive color of the plumage and unique method of obtaining food make themselves felt. The title “great spotted” is due to the relatively large size and bright black and white color. Near the tail and undertail can be a pink or red tone.
Males from females can be distinguished by a red beanie on his head. It is almost all young animals. Such parts of poultry, such as cheeks, forehead and belly are painted white, although it can vary depending on habitat conditions.
In the description of the external characteristics of the great spotted woodpecker is impossible to ignore the pointed wedge-shaped tail, which is medium-length and high rigidity. With it, the bird poised on a tree trunk and it won’t slip.
The life expectancy of European and North American species reaches 9 years.
By the way, it is important to note that all member of the family Matlovich belong to the few species of birds that never go on the ground. All the time, the feathered medic spends either on the tree or in the nest.
Habitat of the great spotted woodpecker, feeding habits
A large woodpecker inhabits a huge part of the globe and is found in almost all regions with abundant forest resources. It is found on the Canary Islands, and Kamchatka, and Japan. In most cases, the bird prefers a settled way of life, although sometimes she makes a small migration to neighbouring regions.
The bird does not impose high requirements to the environment, so it is easy to arrange accommodation in the taiga, and in the Park, a densely populated metropolis. All depends on the forage and climatic conditions.
As for the diet, its main part is made by insects. Even schoolchildren and young children know that the woodpecker is the main medic of the forest flora, which consumes huge colonies of various pests, such as:
In the absence of such fodder, the bird is not provided the opportunity to feast on nuts, berries or mushrooms. Thus, a prevalence of vegetative or animal food depends on the season and geographical features of the area. And females, and the males hunt for food in certain areas. If the forage base is very poor, the birds move to other areas of the forest.
In the spring and summer diet are insects and their larvae.
In addition, the diet often appear different butterflies and ants. In some cases, the bird feeds on carrion, and sometimes ravaging the nests of other small songbirds.
It is known that great spotted woodpecker has an amazing dexterity, which highlights 130 blows of the beak for a minute. At this speed a single small pest will not go unnoticed.
What eats the great spotted woodpecker in winter and autumn?
With the arrival of a serious cold snaps a bird’s preference for plant foods, which contains large amounts of proteins.
Among the favorite treats included:
- seeds of coniferous trees;
Ornithologists distinguish a unique system of extraction of seeds from cones, which is used by almost all kinds of woodpeckers. However, the representatives of the great spotted woodpecker brought it to its present perfection.
For starters, the bird needs to produce the pine, pine or any other cone and the beak to move her to a prearranged location, a so-called anvil. As these devices uses a feathered clip or a slot in the top of the barrel.
A powerful blow of the beak of a woodpecker breaks the lump into pieces and begins to act according to the plan, taking small seeds by peeling of scales. In possession of one of the adult can be up to 50 such anvils, however, in operation, as a rule, is only 2-3 units. For this reason, don’t be surprised if you see one tree, a lot of bumps and scales.
Although there are many facts and photographs, the behaviour of the woodpecker during the extraction of food was studied only by a few percent. It is hoped that in the future science will tell us new and unique secrets.
When the great spotted woodpecker mating season begins. Features nesting
Like some other species of birds, members of the family Matlovich remain very faithful to their spouses. Birds are amazing monogamy and marital fidelity. They will be accompanied by one female for the rest of his life, protecting her from predators and other dangers that lurk in the forest at every step. Final sexual maturity occurs at one year of age. It is important to note that after a successful mating pair may stay together until next season. Or do they diverge, and then connected again in the spring.
During the breeding season birds are very interesting and noteworthy. The first characteristic behaviors seen in late February-early March. The males make loud noises, shout and show much aggression. Females are less active and remain calm. In the middle of the last month of spring, pairs begin mating.
The choice of wood for the arrangement of the nest – the task of the male.
In his capacity, use the following trees:
Most importantly, the breed was soft, but not rotten.
Feature great spotted woodpecker, which is found in recollecting forests, is the annual laying of the nest. If birds live in the coniferous area, the more likely he will return to their previous place of residence. The hollow bird features at the height of 6-8 meters, making the barrel hole by 25-35 centimeters with a diameter of 10 cm.
Construction work does male, and they last no longer than two weeks. The male periodically takes place, the male and helps him in the construction of the structure.
Egg laying occurs in mid-spring, usually in the second half of April. The clutch can be five to seven eggs with white shell. The eggs hatch as females and males. The male sits on them at night to protect the nest from predators. The incubation period ends after 10-12 days, when the light appears, blind, helpless creatures.
What dangers threaten the woodpecker?
We can assume that the woodpecker has no enemies, as his powerful beak – a very effective weapon for defense and attack. However, it is not. Birds of prey from time to time woodpeckers attack and ravage their nests.
If you pay attention to terrestrial predators, which are a danger to woodpeckers, these include the marten and the ermine. Even small rodents such as squirrel and red bat (one bat species) can harm the normal existence of the birds. Repeatedly harassed woodpeckers starlings, who stay in their hollows.
However, due to a certain set of characteristics that woodpeckers have received in a long process of adaptation to the environment, a trite predators can’t get to the nests.
Main features adaptability to habitat conditions is presented below.
- The presence of the tenacious claws allows the bird to stand confidently on the trunk of trees or on thin branches;
- The presence of the hard tail with a pointed tip and a grip with the barrel, so the woodpecker does not slip down during gouging of the socket;
- A strong and long beak allows it to effectively penetrate the bark and produce food;
- Very long and sticky tongue is used for the extraction of insects from the most inaccessible places;
What distinguishes the small and the great spotted woodpecker
- External characteristics. The small view of a transverse black stripe on the cheek, which is interrupted by a white spot in the neck. However, in individuals missing pink or reddish undertail, but on the head a red cap with a black border.
- Birds are distinguished by the nature of their vocalizations. The first type creates a very short fraction, which can last no longer than 0.6 seconds and include 12 to 13 beats. However, to distinguish two species in this feature is very problematic, since in reality, the shot resembles a continuous sound. However, its sonority is lost very quickly and fade out in the woods. The representatives of the great spotted woodpecker is able to make up to 130 beats per minute. For this reason, the sound is heard for hundreds of meters. The fraction of small woodpeckers often resembles the singing of songbirds.
- Sizes small woodpecker is slightly smaller with a length of 14-15 cm;
- Birds of different features of the choice environment. Small woodpecker likes to live in deciduous and mixed forests, ponds and swamps. Avoids dark conifers.
Woodpecker – amazing forest-dweller. Its role in the ecosystem is very large, so it makes no sense to ask the question: “is this a bird or Vice versa”?