Sven Zacek

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This photo of a black woodpecker family is taken in the middle of a nature reserve area, where there are thousands and thousands of suitable nesting trees, just take you pick whichever do you prefer – an aspen, a pine or an alder tree. Despite abundant nesting opportunities the woodpeckers chose to nest close to a human settlement, because man offers protection against pine martens who are the woodpeckers’ fiercest enemies. This photo depicts interesting behaviour, where a nestling crabs an adult from its chest in the hope of getting more food. Black woodpeckers nested at the edge of this courtyard for two years. First in this aspen tree, then in a alder just right of this aspen and for the third year they chose to move back to the forest. That decision proved to be costly, because they had to share their nesting site with a pair of ural owls. It took some time, but eventually the female ural owl caught both of the black woodpecker adults and turned them into food. After that the hungry calls of young woodpeckers sounded to deaf ears. They called for two days, then their nest turned silent…