Posts Tagged ‘red headed woodpecker’

Saw this many times yesterday in the backyard and got a few long distance photos, that I cropped. I doesn’t take long to remember how beautiful RHW’s are:





He/she finally landed in a tree on a dead branch:


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Unusual series of photos showing a Red headed Woodpecker caching whole acorns in large drilled holes. Usually, I see them caching acorn bits from acorns they open on the ground; more typically like the last photo – taken the same day within a Canon 7D and a Canon 400 DO IS lens:












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A beautiful and colder morning again finds this Red-headed Woodpecker in Murray Valley against a backdrop of sycamore trees:



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On last Saturday morning while driving in a bottom field along the Little Buffalo River, where there are dozens of acres of forage grounds for the Red-headed woodpecker, I spotted one making a nest in a hole in the side of a barkless elm tree. The forage grounds, consists of swamp white oaks, sycamores, beech, hackberry, cottonwood, elm, and a few smaller species of trees. The elms tend to drop their bark the year after they die. This makes them perfect for woodpeckers. Taken with a 1D Mark III and an EF600L f/4 IS:





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I just saw this bird on the Diamond Cave Rd on CR 20. I got pretty close to him because he was on the opposite side of the tree and did not see or hear me. As he/she came around the side I surprised the woodpecker and got 12 shots off before he/she moved to another tree. This is a pretty good photo and shows the feathering and coloration, Males and females are exactly alike. There is a little spring-time molting on the head at this time.

The gorgeous Red-headed Woodpecker is so boldly patterned it’s been called a “flying checkerboard,” with an entirely crimson head, a snow-white body, and half white, half inky black wings. These birds don’t act quite like most other woodpeckers: they’re adept at catching insects in the air, and they eat lots of acorns and beech nuts, often hiding away extra food in tree crevices for later. This magnificent species has declined severely in the past half-century because of habitat loss and changes to its food supply.


  • Size & Shape

    Red-headed Woodpeckers are medium-sized woodpeckers with fairly large, rounded heads, short, stiff tails, and powerful, spike-like bills.

  • Color Pattern

    Adults have bright-red heads, white underparts, and black backs with large white patches in the wings, making the lower back appear all white when perched. Immatures have gray-brown heads, and the white wing patches show rows of black spots near the trailing edge.

  • Behavior

    In addition to catching insects by the normal woodpecker method of hammering at wood, Red-headed Woodpeckers also catch insects in flight and hunt for them on the ground. They also eat considerable amounts of fruit and seeds. Their raspy calls are shriller and scratchier than the Red-bellied Woodpecker’s.

  • Habitat

    Red-headed Woodpeckers live in pine savannahs and other open forests with clear understories. Open pine plantations, tree-rows in agricultural areas, and standing timber in beaver swamps and other wetlands all attract Red-headed Woodpeckers.


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