Black Woodpecker

Black Woodpecker
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Black Woodpecker 2009-5-10 Wildlife
Title Exposure date Category
Male Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) looking at its nest-hole.

I've been lucky to watch a pair of Black Woodpecker build (dig) their nest from scratch. Both future parents are involved in digging the nest taking shifts. The hole takes about a month constant work to complete and it can sometimes reach one meter in depth.
I would like to share an interesting behavior I observed. While on shift, the male works hard and fast. The female, however, acts quite differently. When she takes her shifts, the male waits for her to start working and takes off. Sometimes soon after that the female ceases working and gets outside of the hole, finds a comfortable place and just stays or cleans herself. In the very moment she senses the male returning (by the screeching call he makes or by his noisy flight), she swiftly gets in the hole and renews her work as if she has not stopped at all. I haven't found a good explanation of this behavior yet. Maybe you have one?