There was quite a ruckus in the forest beside my cabin yesterday. Adult sapsuckers where attempting to extract juveniles from the nest and teach them to forage.
The young sapsuckers were reluctant to leave the nest and learn to gather food for themselves. There was some really loud screaming and there was pushing. Several times, a juvenile flew back to the nest, which is a hole in one of my almost dead Alder trees. Whenever this happened, an adult would force its way into the nest and push the juvenile out the door.
The adults were also vocalizing, but a totally different sound that wasn't so loud. I assumed it was a call for them to watch and learn. One adult pecked a neat row of holes in one of my young cottonwoods. It then went to a series of holes that we're made earlier, and began eating the sap and insects that were attracted to it. The babies hollered to be fed. The adults continued eating.
Later on, an adult landed on a dead Alder and began knocking bark off. He then ate the bugs. The youngsters screamed for a meal, but were rebuffed. Again, the adults knocked off some bark. This time, the young bird flew over and began eating. The adults stayed on the same patch of tree and continued to peck. After a few hours, the noise subsided and a it appeared that all birds were now having some success in finding their own food. This was a very important day for the young sapsuckers. By this time next week, they should be pretty much self-sufficient.
I'm sure many of us who have teenagers or young adults, would gladly suffer one really noisy afternoon, if that meant self-sufficiency for our offspring.
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