Video © Roberto Ares
Meal at both ends
This Checkered Woodpecker pecked at the tree trunk very diligently quickly deepening the hole. We did not understand what it was doing till we discovered the true target. Some centimeters on the right side above the hole there is another old aberture with insects at the bottom of a gallery. As the woodpecker could not catch them from this entrance, it drilled this "road" till the base of the gallery. Drumming certainly alerted the insects of the danger and they moved towards the principal exit. They found themselves pecked by the woodpecker and withdrew. At either entrance the result was the same - a hungry woodpecker waiting for them. Finally the woodpecker captured them and ate them. They seemed worms.
Is this technique passed down on to them or does it develop intuitively? Checkered Woodpecker chicks go through two stages in their development. The first one is in the nest and being fed by their parents. The second one is out of the nest and still depending on their parents for food. During the second stage they interact with their parents and the environment. This is a good time to learn.