Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Downy Woodpecker feeding on Cecropia Moth pupae

On April 28 I was walking in Mississauga when I noticed a female Downy Woodpecker pecking away at a Cecropia Moth cocoon. Cecropias are these giant moths that emerge as adults in early summer.

I watched her for a while as she finished up with that cocoon and then moved onto another. I was never able to see what she was actually getting, but I assume she was getting pieces of the moth pupae, or possibly other insect larvae that had parasitised them. Anyways, a quick video is below.

Even after the woodpecker had shown me where the cocoons were, I had an extremely hard time spotting them. Presumably a combination of evolution and experience has allowed this woodpecker to be incredibly good at spotting this sort of thing, in much the same way that we are incredibly good at recognizing faces.

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