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Colaptes melanochloros feeding its baby

Colaptes melanochloros feeding its baby
Photo Information
Copyright: Livio Soares de Medeiros (livios) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-09-26
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM, Hoya 77mm UV
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/1600 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Woodpeckers [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-09-28 11:16
Viewed: 6664
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Some woodpeckers and wrynecks in the order Piciformes have zygodactyl feet, with two toes pointing forward, and two backward. These feet, though adapted for clinging to a vertical surface, can be used for grasping or perching. Several species have only three toes. The woodpecker's long tongue, in many cases as long as the woodpecker itself, can be darted forward to capture insects. The tongue is not attached to the woodpecker's head in the same way as it is in most birds, but instead it curls back up around its skull, which allows it to be so long.

The woodpecker first locates a tunnel by tapping on the trunk. Once a tunnel is found, the woodpecker chisels out wood until it makes an opening into the tunnel. Then it worms its tongue into the tunnel to try to locate the grub. The tongue of the woodpecker is long and ends in a barb. With its tongue the woodpecker skewers the grub and draws it out of the trunk.

Woodpeckers also use their beaks to create larger holes for their nests which are 15–45 cm (6–18 inches) below the opening. These nests are lined only with wood chips and hold 2–8 white eggs laid by the females. Because the nests are out of sight, they are not visible to predators and eggs do not need to be camouflaged. Cavities created by woodpeckers are also reused as nests by other birds, such as grackles, starlings, some ducks and owls, and mammals, such as tree squirrels.

Several adaptations combine to protect the woodpecker's brain from the substantial pounding that the pecking behavior causes: it has a relatively thick skull with relatively spongy bone to cushion the brain; there is very little cerebrospinal fluid in its small subarachnoid space; the bird contracts mandibular muscles just before impact, thus transmitting the impact past the brain and allowing its whole body to help absorb the shock; and its relatively small brain is less prone to concussion than other animals'. (Schwab, 2002) (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodpecker)

red45, tiklod, JoseMiguel, marhowie, jaycee, Luis52, pablominto, scottevers7, haraprasan, sranjan has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Janice: Workshoplivios 1 09-28 22:26
To JoseMiguel: Yeahlivios 1 09-28 12:43
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2007-09-28 11:39]

Hi Livio!

This scene remainds me Joanna and Michal...well maybe not exactly :-) Great moment and as always quality. Your blue sky still looks great! Very interesting subject and notes, too!

  • Great 
  • tiklod Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 290 W: 74 N: 875] (3397)
  • [2007-09-28 12:22]

Hi Livio,
Very nice moment of wildlife. Great details and focur. Beautiful colours,
Thanks for sharing,


Hi Livios,
Are this the same tunnel than the previous post?
I like so much the clear details and colours got on the plumage.
A great timing to catch this feeding moment.
Well done and thanks to post it.
Best regards,

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-09-28 12:49]

Hola Livio,
una perfecta captura,
buen foco y oportuno momento...
agradables detalles y color,

Good capture Livio. It's a real action shot. She looks too big to be able to get into that hole!
Very interesting note too.
I would have cropped off the extra space on the left, and concentrated more on the bird - I've done a quick WS to show what I mean,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-09-28 14:47]

Hi Livio,

What timing! You caught the perfect moment just as the mother was passing the food to the young one. Fantastic! Nice natural colors and excellent details. I like Janice's workshop too.


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-09-28 17:10]

Hola Livio. Exelente foto. Muy bella la postura y hermoso momento. Felicidades Luis52.

Hello Livio,
The action is well captured, and presented in this fine dynamic composition!
Good details in the birds, and it is interesting to study the technique of the big woodpecker...
Well done on the close-up!
Pablo -

Hi Livio
great capture techniqually difficult with perfect use of fill in flash!

Hi Livio,
Not just a woodpecker clinging to a tree trunk, but a mother feeding the new arrival..What could be better? :)
Nice sharp detail and well exposed with great DOF, POV, and natural colors..
Very well done.

Hi Livio,
Good timing to get this shot. A beautiful woodpecker with great colors and markings in the plumage. Nice sharp detail. Looks great!


  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-09-29 11:40]

Hello Livio, that's a great moment you captured. Nice bird, sharp image with a good exposure. Well done,


Hi Livio,
A beautiful capture of this woodpecker feeding her infant. BTW is it a he ore a she. And what is there nursing habit? The details are nice with very good POV and composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Ola Livio.
Muito boa foto,otima nitidez e boa captura.

Hi Livio,
I finally found time to look at this one. Very nice behavior shot.

However, not punctigula. Brazil is a very large country. Wikipiedia though useful for some things does not in this case give the exact ranges within Brazil. The closest race of punctigula to Minas is in Pará (race guttatus).

Your bird is an adult male nominate race, Colaptes melanochloros melanochloros (Green-barred Woodpecker).

Hello Livio,
Very well caught action frame of this beautiful bird. It is very difficult to get this bird within the frame of reference perse its swift rotational movements on the tree trunk otherwise. Bravo.

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