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Chucky the RBWO has a baby!!

Posted Tuesday 3rd July 2018 at 13:08 by Fraulein ash
Updated Thursday 30th August 2018 at 16:58 by Fraulein ash (add photo)
Yesterday was *magical*.

Ever since my bf recorded a video on his phone of Woody the pileated pecker and his beautiful wife, I have wanted to see her for myself so badly. So I set my alarm everyday and get up at 5:30, since that's around the time he comes around to our property. Weeks have passed since then, and here I sit... listening, watching.

Yesterday, I finally heard a *powerful* drumming close by. I excitedly slipped on my shoes and ran out the door (still in my pajamas, lol) and followed the sound a couple houses down. In my mind, there is no other bird that can make a sound so big and loud, with the exception of Woody (or his wife, Woodina!) I looked and looked. No woody, but the sound was RIGHT THERE next to me. How do you miss an 18 inch bird that sounds like he's right in front of you??

Because it WASN'T an 18 inch bird! There was a little brown bird, maybe 3-4 inches, with spots! Suddenly, Chucky the RBWO appears out of nowhere, and he's flapping and squawking around this little brown bird as if to scold him!! "What are you doing out of the nest, little one? You better march yourself right back into that hole, or else no breakfast for you!" says Chucky (I'm assuming). Defiantly, little Chucky Jr flies to a neighboring tree, and a small chase began. Eventually, Chucky flies off in the direction of my house to get the naughty little baby some food.

I rarely see Chucky's bride, Tiffany, so I assumed she was sitting on some eggs this entire time. Obviously not, since this definitely wasn't an egg! There are babies! I hope there are more that survived, since I know they lay several eggs. I can't wait for Chucky jr to come visit our feeders with his parents! I was actually able to snap a few photos of little baby RBWO, but as he was extremely high up in the tree and I didn't want to get any closer and scare them, they aren't the best photos. You can definitely tell what it is in the shot though, so that's all that matters to me.
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Total Comments 3


Unfortunately, I'm not familiar with the beautiful American woodpeckers, but for most bird species in the size range of the woodpeckers, a fully fledged juvenile capable of flight would normally be very close in size to te adult.

I've once picked up a Great Spotted Woodpecker young which was barely capable of flight to save it from getting overrun on the middle of the road, and it was pretty much the same size as its parents.

In a similar situation, my girl friend picked up a juvenile European Green Woodpecker (to save it from cats, this time), and helped it into a tree where shortly thereafter, one of the parents showed up ... being virtually the same size as the juvenile.

From what I've seen of the European Green Woodpecker, it never actually chases the young anywhere, but instead it calls for them, sometimes for quite a while.

Have you tried posting the pictures you took on the forum to see if anyone can identify "Chucky jr."?
Posted Wednesday 1st August 2018 at 10:08 by Hauksen Hauksen is offline
Fraulein ash's Avatar
Hi! I didn't know anyone replied to this blog as no one around birdforum seems to read them... but I edited my blog entry to include photographic evidence of the baby RBWO I saw that day :) I didn't post the photo to the forum since I was 100% certain of what I was seeing and also because it's a terrible photo! He kept jumping around and flying from branch to branch around his nest, which was WAY up high in the tree, through many branches.

But yes, I believe he was a lot bigger than I expected of a baby, this was my first time seeing one in real life and you can't really tell how large they are when looking at photos online. You could clearly see that he couldn't fly *well*, as he was extremely awkward and made a lot of mistakes. Chucky *did* vocalize at him quite a bit, but also appeared to be trying to chase him back into the nest, but was unsuccessful so he flew off. At least, that was my interpretation of the events.

I reeeeally love the European Green Woodpecker!! You guys are so incredibly lucky to have such a beautiful bird in your country! I also adore the Great Spotted & Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers... they remind me of the European versions of our North American Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers; almost identical except for size.

Thanks for reading!
Posted Thursday 30th August 2018 at 17:11 by Fraulein ash Fraulein ash is offline
A year later ... have you had new visits by your favourite woodpeckers?

Today, I saw both a Great Spotted Woodpecker a European Green Woodpecker from my office window.

The Great Spotted Woodpecker, a female, carefully checked one of the four holes woodpeckers have hacked into the external insulation of the houses opposite to my window. They are used by Common Swifts for breeding each year, and the woodpeckers only use one of them in the winter. They very quickly and stealthily enter the hole shortly before sunset, and leave it in the morning in a much more relaxed mindset :-)

The Green Woodpeckers are very good at making themselves invisible. I've had the opportunity to observe how one avoided being seen by a Common Buzzard circling above, and it really kept itself at the opposite side of the tree it was sitting on all the time, peering carefully around the trunk to keep track of the Buzzard. I'm sure they also track ornithologists with the same intense attention ... I often hear them around, but it's really rare I can actually spot one.

Recently, I heard an exchange of calls, and then saw one Green Woodpecker fly out of a tree, and in a less than graceful arch and with a lot of flapping but little control back into the same tree. I suppose that was one of the freshly fledged youngs, and I was thinking of your description of "Chucky jr" when I saw that!
Posted Friday 6th September 2019 at 17:45 by Hauksen Hauksen is offline
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