Okinawa Woodpecker busily rearing its chicks

Okinawa Woodpecker busily rearing its chicks

Male parent bird carrying the food to its chicks. Taken in the afternoon of May 20, in the Kunigami Mountains area.

May 22, 2011 photo by Hiroaki Yamashiro, photographer of Ryukyu Shimpo

The Noguchigera or Okinawa woodpecker, designated as a special national treasure and found in the forests of the Yambaru in the northern part of Okinawa, has entered the fledging brood season.

Around midday on May 20, I was lucky enough to observe the rare sight of two chicks suddenly appearing at the same time in a woodpecker nest dug in a dead tree on a mountain in the Kunigami area. Judging from the times that the parent birds were carrying food, their beak color, shape and other differences of the chicks, I think that there were three chicks in the nest. One of them hooked its feet on the nest entrance as it surveyed the scene, probably not too long away from departing the nest.

Wanting food, two chicks make their appearance out of their nest at the same time. Taken in the afternoon of May 20, in the Kunigami Mountains area.

Kuniaki Higa, of the Bird Study Group of Okinawa said, “I have never seen two chicks make an appearance at same time. I think that they are probably in good health and are ready to compete with each other for food from the parent bird. I hope that they make their first flight from the nest safely.”

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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