Thanks, Betsy! My 1980s botany is out of date!
They were termed saprophytes, meaning plants that get their nourishment
from decaying organic matter. The term saprophyte is now obsolete, and
plants such as Indian pipe and others that obtain nutrients in the same
manner are called
Back in the 80's when I was living in SW Michigan (near Kellogg Biological
Station, in Delton, MI), a pair of red-headed woodpeckers brought their
fledglings every year to eat mulberries at a productive group of trees.
More unusual that they would take them to protein-needy nestlings (albeit
I'm not surprised at them eating fruit, which I've seen many woodpecker species do many times, but I am surprised they would feed fruit to nestlings. Is it possible they are caching the food? Has anyone seen the adults emerge with fecal sacs? Would this species carry off fecal sacs? Nice photos by
Hey there's a thought...caching food...definitely something that woodpeckers
Anyway, woodpeckers do indeed bring out fecal material (a mix of droppings and
wood chips rather than a sac (songbirds only I think)), but one might have to
watch for a number of hours before it happens.
I thought I mentioned it before, but Linda Clougherty and I saw then caching
food a couple weeks ago. We did see them with some kind of nut and also
insects. Really cool!
Sent from my IPhone
On Aug 20, 2013, at 7:42 PM, Marie P. Read m...@cornell.edu wrote:
Hey there's a
Have not seen them bringing out fecal sacs, and have been looking for that.
Any seen that? It is definitely possible this is food caching. Looked up the
background in Kaufman’s Lives of North American Birds. It mentions caching of
acorns, beechnuts, not berries. Says they are the most
I have photographed them bringing out a fecal sac, so pretty sure there is
Cayugabirds-L List Info:
I was only able to observe them a couple of times. The first dates are on
7/08/ 2013 and the ones where I saw them going back and forth from the nesting
cavity are on 8/12. On the July date, they were still excavating. Here is a
link to one leaving the cavity with what I assume is a fecal
Just a couple comments about the May's Point pair. I saw my first glimpse of a
Red-headed Woodpecker on June 2nd (while on an Eaton field trip). It was only a
brief glimpse before it was chased off by blackbirds, wasn't 100% sure (not
having heard of any in the area) so I didn't report it.
There was also an attachment, a map, which I deleted because Cayugabirds-L prohibits photos and attachments. It showed several points along the shore of the lagoon between Renwick Stewart, much less in the cove along Fall Creek into Renwick, and most densely in the little cove into the golf
Tom Riley and Bill Roberts first noted 2 adult Red-headed Woodpeckers flying around along South Mays Point Road on Wednesday 3 July. On 7 July I saw each adult tossing wood chips from separate apparently old holes in the same dead tree. I think they have since concentrated on just one of those
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