Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Woodpecker good news

Juvenile Red-bellied Woodpecker --7/29/07
photo courtesy of Palemale.com

It was especially gratifying to see this photo of a young red-bellied woodpecker on the Palemale.com website this morning. Central Park's birdwatchers have seen many many battles between the park's larger nesting woodpeckers -- flickers and red-bellieds-- and starlings. Usually the starling wins. After spending a week or so excavating a fine new nest hole, the woodpecker is about to take residence and start laying eggs when wham! A starling that has been watching all week zooms into the hole and takes over. The poor woodpecker usually hangs around for a few days, complaining. And then takes off.

The photograph is evidence that at least one red-bellied woodpecker managed to raise a family in Central Park.