Zhelna is a bird of the woodpecker family, the black woodpecker. This is one of the largest representatives of its kind. The bird has a coal-black color, and if it were not for the bright red top of the head in males, and the back of the head in females, it would be rather difficult to distinguish it from a crow. The black woodpecker has one characteristic habit - he likes to accompany a person walking through his territory for some time. At the same time, he flies forward and watches, looking out from behind a tree. In the old days, superstitious people thought that it was an evil spirit that pursued them, and they killed a curious bird.
The black woodpecker (a photo of the bird can be seen in the article) mostly leads a solitary life. The exception is the mating season, which begins when there is snow in the forest. From the beginning of March, males try to attract the attention of females, they scream loudly and knock on trees. Throughout the forest, a guttural "fre-fre-fre" is heard at a great distance, which can turn into a meowing mournful cry - "keee".
After mating, the female and male begin to settle in more remote areas of the forest. To build a nest, they gouge a hole in a tree. Basically, the male works on new housing, while hishalf are watching him from neighboring branches. The nest is built on smooth-bore tall trees. Most often, a black woodpecker chooses spruce, pine or aspen for this. The hollow is hollowed out at a height of at least 4 meters, it has an inlet of about 10x17 cm, and a depth of 40 to 60 cm. It can take up to 4 weeks to build. The same bird nest is used in subsequent years, however, if it is not occupied by other residents.
The bottom of the nest is lined with nothing but tree bark. At the end of April, the female lays 4 to 5 eggs, and after two weeks of incubation, chicks begin to hatch. They spend the first 4 weeks of their life in the nest. At this time, their parents are involved in their provision. They continue to do this for some time, when the chicks are already flying out of the nest.
In August, young birds completely leave not only the nest, but also the territory of their parents. They are looking for new places or those that are left without an owner. As soon as the chicks have flown away, adult birds begin to avoid each other. They sleep in a hollow, but each has its own "bedroom". And given that the black woodpecker considers a plot of several square kilometers to be its territory, then they do not have disputes over food.
Insects and their larvae are the basis of the zhelna's diet. The black woodpecker destroys bark beetles, lumberjack beetles, borers, ants, horntail larvae and so on. In one day, he can eat up to 600 larvae, which is of great benefit.plants affected by insects. It often happens that a bird completely knocks the bark off a tree or, getting something especially tasty, makes rectangular holes in the trunk.
The black woodpecker is a sedentary bird, in winter it does not fly away from its "home" and feels as good there as in summer. For habitat, it most often prefers dense coniferous forests, but is also found in deciduous forests. Zhelna is distributed throughout the forest belt of Russia, it is found in Siberia, and in Kazakhstan, and in the Caucasus, and in all forests of the European part of our country. The black woodpecker is a permanent friend of trees, it needs to be protected, and today it is under the protection of our state.