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      Nature Report: Woodpeckers

      Just a few short weeks ago, the golden fronted woodpeckers were securing a meal amidst the flowering chaparo prieto, or perhaps perched on a yucca seeking a snack from the blooming pita.

      Those spring blooms have faded now, and the woodpeckers are diligently incubating their young.

      The male and female alternate sitting on the eggs, which will hatch in approximately two weeks.

      It must be rather boring down in the nest cavity, and the female will periodically pop up and check out the view, before slipping back down to warm her eggs.

      Soon the male returns for his appointed shift, and the female sails off in search of a meal.

      Golden fronted woodpeckers range from extreme southwestern Oklahoma to Nicaragua and they are at home in a variety of South Texas habitats from the arid brush country of Starr County to the riparian river woodlands of the lower Valley.

      It's not long before the male pokes his head out for a look, and he seems more interested in the scenery than he does in fulfilling his incubation duties.

      He doesn't wait for his mate to return before departing, but the eggs usually don't go unattended very long.

      The female quickly returns to take her turn at incubation. It won't be but a few days before the four to seven eggs hatch.

      The adults will be busy for a month tending to their brood before they are ready to leave the nest.

      Meanwhile, whose turn is it to sit on the eggs anyway?

      With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore.