Thursday, 23 April 2015

Picid in Focus: Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker

Chestnut-coloured Woodpecker Celeus castaneus. This is a female (males have red on the cheek and malar stripe). Photographed in Belize by Vaughan Ashby during a Birdfinders tour in March 2015.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Picid in Focus: Pale-billed Woodpecker

A wonderful Pale-billed Woodpecker Campephilus guatemalensis. The biggest picid in Central America. This is a female, note the black throat and central crown. Photographed in Belize by Vaughan Ashby during a Birdfinders tour in March 2015.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

An island endemic: Crimson-backed Flameback

Here is another great image from Sri Lanka by Gehan Rajeev. A female Crimson-backed Flameback Chrysocolaptes stricklandi (males have a crimson crown). This species is endemic to the island of Sri Lanka and was previously considered a race of Greater Flameback.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Picid in Focus: White-bellied Woodpecker

Three White-bellied Woodpeckers (Dryocopus javensis), Subic Bay Forest, Luzon, Philippines, January 2015 (Gerard Gorman).

Monday, 16 March 2015

Picid in Focus: White-naped Woodpecker

Here is a great image of a White-naped Woodpecker Chrysocolaptes festivus. This is a male, females lack red, having a yellow crown. Taken in Sri Lanka in December 2014 by Gehan Rajeev.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Sexual Dimorphism in nestling woodpeckers

Most woodpecker species are sexually dimorphic, meaning simply that the sexes look different. This dimorphism varies: in some species it is obvious, in other more subtle (and in a few species it hardly exists). In some cases, plumage dimorphism becomes evident as soon as chicks begin to acquire feathers and young woodpeckers can be sexed visually before they leave their cavity. Here is an example, a female Williamson's Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus) nestling, just before fledging (Oregon, USA, July 2014). Adults of this species are very different visually, in fact they are one of the most sexually dimorphic woodpeckers (so much so that they were once thought to be different species) and this is the case with nestlings, too.