Thursday, April 3, 2008
downy nest IV
The male downy woodpecker continued work inside the nest cavity (See March 30 posting) but I didn’t see the female that often. According to Gary Ritchison, she may be away working on a second nest hole. Downy pairs are different. In some, the male does most of the hole excavation; in others, it’s the female. At times they work on separate sites and both try to persuade the other that theirs is the best location.
We know that my pair is committed to each other because they have been observed mating. (I would have averted my eyes, but it happened so fast, there was no time to avert.)
Ritchison reports in his book Downy Woodpecker (one of the Wild Bird Guide series) that if neither convinces the other that their nest cavity is superior, the couple may abandon both to prepare a third.
Time will tell. The chickadees are still lingering about watching the progress of his work and will quickly move in should there be an opportunity.