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y OWSTON'S WHITE-BACKED WOODPECKERz

( Scientific name: Dendrocopos leucotos owstoni )

This woodpecker, whose only habitat is Amami-oshima, is a subspecies of white-backed woodpeckers. It is designated for protection as a special species of animal, because it is one of the endangered species of birds. During its breeding season from April to May, the forests often resound with the quick rhythmical drumming by the woodpecker's beak.  

 

You can easily distinguish male and female. The head of a male is red while that of a female is black. But it is said all the chicks have a red head. The parents bore a hole on a living tree for their nest. They carry worms of long-horned beetles and other insects to their nest for the chicks. They feed inside the nest while the chicks are small. When they grow big enough to fledge out, they are fed from outside the nest.  

 

Picture 1  A male parent and a chick in the nest.

Picture 2  A female parent approaches the nest.

Picture 3  A male parent with a long-horned beetle worm in his beak.

Picture 4  A chick that has just left its nest.   

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English
English
By ATSUO BEPPU
Born in Tokyo in 1938. Passed his boyhood on Amami-oshima island. Moved to Amami again in 1974 from Tokyo. Interested in taking pictures, shooting videos and fishing.
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