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.


BriteCloud said...

I think we could all learn a lesson from that pair. It seems most couples (now referring to humans), will just go their own separate ways if they can't reach a decision on whose way is better. But these two choose to let go of their own egos and work together on a home that will make them both happy.

What if we all did that with our mates? We should put more effort into a solution, and less effort into disagreeing. :::stepping down from soap box:::

Just my 2 cents. :)

Stephen Lyn Bales said...

And it’s a very good 2 cents.

Hello britecloud. People often ask me why did I become a naturalist? It’s because I find nature to be infinitely fascinating and sensible. Every species of plant and animal has a different story, a different way of getting by in this world. Downy woodpeckers’ life histories are different than American coots. But egos are not involved. You watch the world news at night and it’s just out of control egos. It makes your blood pressure go up. You take a walk in the woods and you breathe a sigh of relief.

The pair of downies work toward the common good. No red state, blue state. The real curiosity is why she may not like his location, and he may not like hers. Both probably have good reasons but compromising on a third site is just sensible. They soon will have a family to raise.

Patty said...

"I would have averted my eyes, but it happened so fast, there was no time to avert." Cute! Love this post. The downies at the Log Jammer feeder are just so cute -- and they sure the nut feeder, too!

Patty said...

OK, they sure "like" the nut feeder. (Fingers flying too fast!)