I have been privileged this summer to watch families from five species of woodpecker, hairy, downy, red-breasted, flicker, and red-bellied, raise their young. What particularly intrigues me about them is their chatter. I love to listen to the parents and young ones interact. Each one is distinctive and fascinating. When Mom comes to feed, the little ones change to a squeal and turn up the volume. All of them want to be certain they are fed.
She puts the food down their throats in order to avoid the glottis, which is the opening to their lungs. She knows that if food or water gets into the glottis the young ones will die. At this time of the season, fledglings are about the same size as the parents. I can easily tell the difference, though, because the fledglings still want the parents to feed them. Once they are full, they fly off.
Thanks for caring about the critters,