Woodpeckers and Allies Family Picidae

Chisel-billed, wood-boring birds with strong zygodactyl feet (usually two toes front, two rear), remarkably long tongue, and stiff spiny tail that acts as prop for climbing. Flight usually undulating. FOOD: Tree-boring insects; some species eat ants, flying insects, berries, acorns, sap. RANGE: Most wooded parts of world; absent in Australian region, Madagascar, most oceanic islands.


Melanerpes erythrocephalus

9'/4 in. (24 cm). Adult: A black-backed woodpecker with entirely red head (other woodpeckers may have patch of red). Back solid black, rump white. Large, square white patches conspicuous on wing (making lower back look white when bird is on a tree). Sexes similar. Immature: Dusky-headed; wing patches mottled with dark. voice: Loud queer or queeah. similar species: Red-bellied Woodpecker has partially red head. habitat: Groves, farm country, shade trees in towns, large scattered trees.

LEWIS'S WOODPECKER Melanerpeslewis Uncommon M360

103/<-ll in. (27-28 cm). A large, dark woodpecker with extensive pinkish red belly. Has wide gray collar and dark red face patch. Sexes similar. Has straight crowlike flight; flycatching habit. voice: Usually silent. Occasionally a harsh churr or chee-ur. similar species: Red headed and Acorn woodpeckers. habitat: Open, burned, or logged forests, usually of ponderosa pine or oak, river groves, oak savanna.

ACORNWOODPECKER Melanerpes formicivorus Common M362

9 in. (23 cm). Social, usually found in clans. Note clownish black, white, and red head pattern. A black-backed woodpecker showing conspicuous white rump and white wing patches in flight. Both sexes have whitish eyes, red on crown. Stores acorns in holes drilled in bark and wooden building sides. voice: Whack-up, whack-up, whack-up, or ja-cob, ja-cob. habitat: Oak woods, mixed oak-pine forests, foothills.

RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER Melanerpes carolinus Common M365

914 in. (24 cm). Adult: A zebra-backed woodpecker with red cap, white rump. Red covers both crown and nape in male, only nape in female. Juvenile: Also zebra-backed, but has brown head, devoid of red. voice: Call kwirr, churr, or chaw; also chiv, chiv. Also a muffled flickerlike series. similar species: Golden-fronted and Red headed woodpeckers. habitat: Woodlands, groves, orchards, towns, feeders.

GILA WOODPECKER Melanerpes uropygialis Fairly common M363

9'A in. (24 cm). Male: Note round redcap. A zebra-L>acked woodpecker; in flight, shows white wing patch. Head and underparts gray-brown. Female: Similar, but without red cap. voice: Rolling churr and a sharp pit or yip. similar species: Ladder-backed Woodpecker has striped face, lacks white wing patch. See female Williamson's Sapsucker. habitat: Desert washes, saguaros, riparian woodlands, towns.

GOLDEN-FRONTEDWOODPECKER Melanerpesaurifrons Common M364 9>/2 in. (25 cm). Male: Note multicolored head (yellow near bill, poppy red on crown, orange nape). A zebra-backed woodpecker with light underparts and white rump. Shows white wing patch in flight. Female: Lacks red crown patch. Immature: Lacks color patches on head. voice: Tremulous churrrr; flickerlike kek-kek-kek-kek. similar species: Red-bellied Woodpecker. habitat: Mesquite, woodlands, groves.

Poephila Acuticauda Long Tailed Finch





NORTHERN FLICKER Colaptesauratus Common M379

12—12'/2 in. (30-32 cm). In flight, note conspicuous white rump. This and barred brown back mark bird as a flicker. Close up, it shows black patch across chest. Flight undulating. Often hops awkwardly on ground, feeding on ants. Two basic subspecies groups are recognized: "Yellow-shafted" Flicker, the Northern and eastern form, has golden yellow underwings and tail. Red crescent on nape; gray crown; tan-brown cheeks; male has black mustache. "Red-shafted" Flicker, the widespread western form, has un-dcrwing and undertail salmon red. Both sexes lack red crescent on nape; have brownish crown and gray cheeks; male has red mustache. Where ranges overlap (western edge of plains), intergrades occur. voice: Loud wick wick wick wick wick, etc. Also a loud klee-yer and a squeaky flick-a, flick-a, etc. (see also Pileated Woodpecker), similar species: Gilded Flicker, habitat: Open forests, woodlots, towns.

GILDED FLICKER Colaptes chrysoidcs Uncommon, local M380

11-11 '/2 in. (28-29 cm). Some overlap with Northern Flicker. Wing and tail linings usually yellow, crown mustard brown, male has red mustache. Black breast patch slightly thicker, dark barring on back slightly narrower. voice: Same as Northern Flicker's, but slightly higher pitched. habitat: Cactus deserts, riparian woodland corridors.

WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER Sphyrapicus thyroidcus Uncommon M366

9 in. (23 cm). Male: Black crown, black back, long white shoulder patch, white rump. Note white facial stripes, red throat, yellow belly. Female: Very different looking: a brownish zebra-backed woodpecker with white rump, barred sides, brown head, yellow belly. voice: Nasal chcecr. Drum is several rapid thumps followed by three or four slow, accented thumps. similar species: Female told from Gila Woodpecker by medium brown head, barred sides, yellow belly, and usually habitat. habitat: Coniferous forests, rarely other types of trees.

RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER Sphyrapicus ruber Uncommon M369

8'/2 in. (22 cm). Note entirely red head and breast, sapsuckcr wing stripe. Northern birds have blacker back, less white and black in face than birds from CA. Hybridizes regularly with Red-naped Sapsucker. voice: Similar to Red-naped Sapsucker. similar species: Hybrid Red-naped x Red-breasted sapsuckers have more black and white on face (but some southern Red-breasteds quite similar) and mix of black and red on breast. habitat: Coniferous and mixed woods, groves.

RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER Sphyrapicus nuchalis Fairly common M368

8'/2 in. (22 cm). Sapsuckers drill orderly rows of small holes in trees for sap and the insects it attracts. Note longish sapsuckcr wing patch and striped head. Very similar to Yellow-bellied but note red nape. Black frame around throat broken toward rear. Female shows both red and white on throat. Hybridizes with Red-breasted Sapsucker. voice: Nasal mewing note, cheerrrr; drum is several rapid thumps followed by several slow, rhythmic thumps; similar to Yellow -bellied and Red-breasted sapsuckers. similar species: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. habitat: Coniferous, mixed, and deciduous woodlands; in summer, particularly aspen groves.

YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER Sphyrapicus varius Fairlycommon M367

8'/2 in. (22 cm). Adult: Note sapsucker wing stripe, red forehead. Male has all-red throat, female white. voice: Similar to Red-naped Sapsucker. similar species: Red naped Sapsucker. habitat: Coniferous, mixed, and deciduous woods, shade trees.

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