IDENTITY CRISIS ON ABACO:WEST INDIAN WOODPECKERS OR HUMMINGBIRDS?


800px-West_Indian_Woodpecker_(Melanerpes_superciliaris)IDENTITY CRISIS ON ABACO:WEST INDIAN WOODPECKERS OR HUMMINGBIRDS?

The hummingbirds round here – Cuban Emeralds and occasional Bahama Woodstars – have feeders full of sugar water to keep them sweet. These are also enjoyed by other birds with suitable beaks or tongues able to get to the liquid through tiny holes.  Bananaquits, for example. Now the resident woodpeckers have got in on the act. Our arrival at Delphi coincides with the start of insistent tapping noises from inside the 2 nesting boxes that were put up to divert the woodpeckers from wrecking the wooden roof eaves. They are carrying out annual routine maintenance, putting up new bookshelves etc before settling down to produce their first brood of the year. And they have now discovered how to get a sugar-rush to keep up their energies. 

TRYING TO INSERT THE BEAK IS NOT A GOOD METHODWest Indian Woodpecker Abaco 4West Indian Woodpecker Abaco 2

USING A LONG TONGUE IS IDEALWest Indian Woodpecker Abaco 5West Indian Woodpecker Abaco 1

MEANWHILE THE FEMALE HAS TO WAIT FOR HER TURN…West Indian Woodpecker Abaco 3

7 thoughts on “IDENTITY CRISIS ON ABACO:WEST INDIAN WOODPECKERS OR HUMMINGBIRDS?

  1. Pingback: YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER | THE BIRDS OF ABACO

  2. Yesterday I saw a hummingbird follow a black phoebe into a pear tree and sit about 12cm apart for a long time (about two minutes, but that’s long for the hummer) and then follow when the phoebe left. No apparent aggression, just… what? companionship? So it seemed.

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    • That’s a great observation, Garry – I’m guessing simple passing companionship between small species that are no threat to each other (I think that must be right – hummers can be aggressive, but usually to their own kind…). RH

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