A couple of weeks ago I posted Texas Hummingbirds-Baby Huey with a close-up picture of a Golden-Fronted Woodpecker feeding on one of our hummingbird feeders. Since then Baby Huey has been back several times every day to feast on the sugar-water that the real hummers grudgingly share with him. Now his mate has joined him We can tell it is a female because Henrietta (we had to name her also) is smaller and does not have the red cap that males have.
The above photograph captures them both feeding. Huey is on the left; Henrietta is on the right. He is hanging awkwardly while Henrietta perches daintily much the way a hummingbird does.
According to John L. Tveten in his book, “The Birds of Texas,” a pair will share pecking out a nest for their young and describes it this way.
“Working together, the pair will take a week or more to excavate their nest, and they will then share in the incubation of their four to seven eggs and the raising of their young. Starting with an opening about two inches across, they dig straight back and then down, perhaps for a foot or more, finally enlarging the cavity at the bottom and leaving a few woods chips as the only pallet for their pending brood.”
Daily we hear them pecking on our metal chimney. Why? Is it rusting? Do they think it is a tree? There is a perfectly fine oak tree near the feeders, and there is a wonderful old mesquite tree next door. We may have to inspect our chimney!