Text and video records Olle Koert, www.tt.ee
Estonian article published 31.10.2016
The entrance to the nest box of the great tit was made with a 3,5 cm drill. So that the greater spotted woodpecker would get into the box it must widen the opening by at least one and a half centimetres.
On Thursday, October 27th, the woodpecker came to demolish the nest box in order to make the entrance suit its own body – an hour of hammering and a couple of hours of rest, and so two days with this schedule. A woodpecker does not easily leave something half-done and persistence led to the gaol.
On Saturday it finally squeezed in and at once started to throw out the great tit’s furnishings. As we can see it is a female greater spotted woodpecker; who has no red nape patch.
A short break, to check the surroundings or for food, or did the working mood suddenly end?
In the great cleaning up rush an egg left in the nest in spring was also thrown out. As you may remember the same nest was looted by a wryneck in spring and the nesting of the great tits was not finished: LINK
In the nests of greater spotted woodpeckers there are no nest materials under the eggs in spring, only wood slivers left from the hammering. Generally all kinds of parasites and bacteria develop happily in nest materials – so it might be that the female threw out the materials in the interest of hygiene….
In the evening, an hour later than usual, the surprised and maybe also somewhat irritated great tit arrived; however, it has still continued to come to the nest box to spend the night. Such things are usually hidden from our sight. Let us see how things develop.
A week ago the great tit had arranged the nest box to suit itself for the ever colder nights, and there it spends the night.
In early spring the greater spotted woodpecker already had made the nest box opening larger for itself; then the nest box was provided with a patch with a smaller opening for tits again. The photo shows the evidence from today.
That woodpeckers are active near the nest box is known; they have hammered an old woodshed nearby quite riddled with holes…