【Series】 Spirits of the Kamuy landscape

In this series, the transformation of four seasons will be introduced through articles on wild animals that are active in the deep forests, marshes, and ocean as if they were being cradled by “Kamui,” which means deity in the Ainu language. The first installment in the series is the Yezo sika deer of Notsuke Peninsula. (Text and photographs by Tadanobu Shigeru from the Kushiro Branch News Secti

June 22

Special feature

【Series】 Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (34) Black woodpeckers show affection for their young in pairs

A pair of black woodpeckers taking it in turns to raise the chicks

While enjoying a walk amid a refreshing breeze on a footpath that stretches from residential land in Chuo-ku in the city of Sapporo to the midst of the mountains, I hear the echoes of a black woodpecker in the distance.

Taking satisfaction from the chirps of the black woodpecker, I venture deeper into the forest, where one appears, mid-song, before my eyes. As I continue to observe, it takes off between the trees and comes to rest on a thick pine. As one bird returns, a different one flies from the nest, as they take turns to incubate the eggs. So as not to startle the bird, I took one shot with the camera suspended from my shoulder, and left.

While walking in the deep forests of the Kushiro and Nemuro regions of eastern Hokkaido, you can sometimes hear the birdsong of black woodpeckers. At the height of the season for rearing the young, spare a thought for the hard-working parents busily carrying food for the chicks that wait in the nests on rainy and windy days, of which there are many in May and June.

In mid- and late-June, the birds that have grown leave the nest.
(Photo and words: Shigeru Tadanobu)

Location

Chuo-ku in the city of Sapporo

Special feature

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