Red-bellied Woodpeckers – Home Sweet Home

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A few weeks ago I discovered an easy-to-view tree where a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers are residing.  What’s really cool is the double-hole entry, with the main entrance having a shelf mushroom ‘awning’.  The male does the excavation, he was surely aiming to please with this setup!

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Red-bellied Woodpecker nest

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On May 11th, I was able to determine the woodpecker pair were incubating eggs, and have since been checking up on them, hoping for some action.

Here’s a series, changing egg duty.

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Mrs Woodpecker returning after a break

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“Are you ready to switch?”

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It didn’t take two seconds for the answer, almost side-swiping the Mrs!

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Red-bellied Woodpecker (female) returning inside the nest to incubate

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And she disappears….

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Inside “home sweet home”, there is an excavated nest cavity approximately 8.5″ to 13″ (22 to 32cm) deep with a cylindrical living space of about 3.5″ x 5.5″ (9 x 13cm).  The adult woodpecker itself is 9.4″ long (24 cm).

The leftover wood chips are used to create a bed to lay the eggs upon.

Clutch size:  2-6 eggs
Incubation:  12 days
Nestling time:  24-27 days

With my last days’ visits and knowing it’d been two weeks since I noted egg incubation, the adult in the cavity is now calling constantly, as well as seen leaving the nest to scramble around the trunk then return.  Little ones are being fed.

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Male wondering where the Mrs is, the babies need to be fed!
(taken yesterday)

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Male returned to pass food, then gave me a quick pose before another quick take-off

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In my last shot, you can see a feather inside the second entrance.  I’m hoping to be sharing photos of the little ones in a couple weeks, with fingers crossed there are little heads popping out of both entrances.  That’d be double-special!

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