Tag Archives: Dendrocopos major

I can feed myself

After last night’s observation of an adult male Greater Spotted feeding a juvenile I decided to set up the Big Camera on the tripod with the remote cable release and wait, hopeful to see the same behaviour again. It’s easy to forget the importance of depth-of-field with a fast shutter speed, and I got literally hundreds of photos of a crystal-sharp-focussed bird feeder, and an ever-so-slightly fuzzy woodpecker.

But amongst the fuzzyness there were a couple of nice sharp shots. Of junior. It looks like he (or she) is quite capable of looking after himself.

father and son (or daughter)

There’s nothing like getting a clear, sharp, vibrant photograph of a dazzling bird like the woodpecker to make your day. Sure enough, this is nothing like it. Lots of my favourite photos, however, lack technical merit.

father and son

father and son (or daughter) at the feeder

So when I glanced out the kitchen window yesterday and saw an adult male greater spotted woodpecker at the fat feeder along with its youngster my heart skipped a beat. It’s a great sight and I crept to the window with the compact camera and shot a couple of photos through the grime.

Here you can see the juvenile woodpecker sitting on the top of the feeder, identifiable by the red crown. This redtop will fade away in the months ahead but for the moment it makes the juvenile birds stand out clearly. The adult, with the red spot on the nape of his neck is an adult male. The female doesn’t have this mark. The presence or absence of these red splodges make the sex of greater spotted woodpecker pretty easy to identify.

Just before they flew of I managed to capture a grainy moment where the adult was feeding the youngster a blob of fat from the feeder. It won’t win any photo competitions but I love it!

Adult male woodpecker feeding youngster

An adult male Greater Spotted Woodpecker feeds a youngster