Nesting of the Eurasian three-toed woodpecker
During the census of Eurasian three-toed woodpecker population in 2015 (Action A2) we found two nesting holes of this species. The first was found by Stanko D. Pelc on Stojna and the second by M. Perušek on Velika gora. Both trees with nesting holes grew at around 900 m above sea level in a protected patch of the forest (so called “eco-cell”) with a large amount of dead wood. We carried out measurements of the conifer dead wood stock and classified it into seven categories according to the level of wood disintegration. On Stojna there was on average 55 m3/ha of dead trees out of which 16,3 m3/ha were conifers in the 2. or 3. class of disintegration. On Velika gora there was on average 138 m3/ha of dead trees out of which 55,8 m3/ha were conifers in the 2. or 3. class of disintegration. Among the dead trees European silver fir was the most common with very few trees of Norway spruce. Both nesting holes were in Norway spruce trees of which on Stojna was still viable and the on Velika gora was not.
On Velika gora we set up a camera-trap to be able to follow the movements of parents arround the nesting hole for one week. Both parents fed their young for full 15 hours per day and returned to the nesting hole on average every 5 minutes. They brought food to their chicks on average 178 time a day. The male cleaned the nest on all day except the last three before the chicks left it. The parents fed the chicks with larvae of bark beetles and wood boring insects, with ants, spiders and other species of invertebrates.
News writen by: Zavod za gozdove Slovenije, OE Kočevje