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Nest of woodpeckers

When I went to set up a camera at one of the badger burrows near my parents' house, I heard the cries of fledglings. As I got closer to a tree that I know well because it's where I often put my bike down, I heard the cries louder and louder. Not far away, I notice a spotted woodpecker, and I move away to see if this is really his nest. I watch the feeding. I returned two afternoons later (mid-May and late May) with my camera equipment. I was able to test the focus on moving subjects and the Canon 5d mark IV's burst mode. I have to admit that I had a lot of trouble adjusting the focus settings, but I don't think I would have done much better with the Canon 7d mark II (apart from perhaps having more images in the bursts). The higher ISO of the 5d4 enabled me to get pretty good light, even though the weather was cloudy and the branches were casting shadows on the subjects.


The beginnings

The female brings insects every 5 minutes or so, sometimes it's the male. The chicks are still small, which means that the adults can enter the whole nest to feed them. They sometimes emerge with their excrement in the form of fecal sacks.


The work of a duo

To feed their young, the parents alternate all day between hunting and feeding. Sometimes they return to the lodge simultaneously. In such cases, the last to arrive has to wait a few seconds for his companion to leave.


Faced with these responsibilities

By the end of May, the young (of which there are 2) have grown. The parents can no longer get into the nesting box, and are content to feed them from the trunk. The chicks are crying louder and louder. Their first flight is imminent.


Wings spread

The comings and goings of the parents make it possible to take in-flight shots. You can see the spotted woodpecker's plumage: black wings with white stripes, white breast and red under-caudal feathers.

I later learned that it was no coincidence that the boxes were often located just under a few leaves or a branch, to protect the brood from the rain. The idea of removing disturbing elements such as leaves to take photos must therefore remain an idea. Many things in nature have a meaning that humans don't perceive, so there's no point in disturbing them unnecessarily. The nesting season is also a sensitive time for birds, when it's best not to get too close for too long.





The screaming son


The shy daughter


Written on 07.08.2021

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