So last week I found a Hairy Woodpecker nest hole here in Commonland.
It wasn't hard two find, as a pair was constantly and noisily squabbling
around it.
I got some video which I put together and posted on Facebook, link below.
Although some of the behavior is quite clear, others are ambiguous, though
I have some guesses.

To set the stage: A female (F1) is inside the cavity, presumably
incubating, head popping out every now and then. A second female (F2) is
noisily trying to get into the nest, I think, and is chased off by both a
male (M) hanging around, and F1 inside the cavity. Towards the end of the
video, F2 leaves the cavity, and shortly after M enters to take over
incubation duties. After this, F1 and F2 continue the squabbling, though
offstage (away from the nest cavity) and not shown in the video.

Note that a few times F1 and F2 are pecking at each other, seemingly in
aggression. But a couple times F1 and M look to do the same, though it's
unclear whether those are aggressive pecks or perhaps "kisses", and if the
latter, what's the difference between the two? If you've seen woodpeckers
feeding their young, it looks like an aggressive pecking -- it seems to be
what they do.

I also note that M's responses to F2 appear sometimes noncommittal.
Sometimes M will seem to tolerate F2's pestering without obvious response.

Here's the video link:

(If you don't have a facebook account, you can clink "Not Now" and still
view the video. Be sure to unmute.)

My hypothesis: could F2 be a youngster from last year still seeking out
Mom's attention?

In any case, happy mother's day!



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