Carving a Niche: Okinawa Woodpecker

Synopsis
The Okinawa woodpecker lives in Okinawa's Yambaru forest. Celebrated in Japan as a "special natural monument," this critically endangered bird is full of surprises. Scientists have discovered not only that Okinawa woodpeckers keep the same partner for life, but also that when it comes to feeding their chicks, females find food on trees and in the canopy whereas males forage for food on the ground. The survival of these woodpeckers depends on the choices they make, and nesting out in the open where sharp-eyed crows are on the prowl can have fatal consequences. For chicks that are preparing to leave the nest, their future depends on them watching and learning from their parents before they go it alone. Survival for the Okinawa woodpecker hangs in the balance.