Friday, 9 January 2015

Terrestrial Woodpeckers

There are several woodpecker species around the world that tend to forage on the ground and many others that, though essentially arboreal, will also occasionally drop to the ground to feed. Two species, however, are highly terrestrial, hardly ever using trees and seldom actually pecking wood! They are, the Andean Flicker Colaptes rupicola of the high Andes in South America & the Ground Woodpecker Geocolaptes olivaceus of Southern Africa. Here is a close-up of the former: a male of the puna race, in C Peru, November 2012 (Gerard Gorman).

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Picid in Focus: Hispaniolan Woodpecker

Hispaniolan Woodpecker Melanerpes striatus, Dominican Republic, December 2014. Endemic to the island of Hispaniola (Dom Rep & Haiti) in the Greater Antilles, it is widespread and common in the former, found in most wooded habitats, but less so in Haiti where deforestation has been rife. This is a female, note the black mid and fore crown with red only at the rear: males have a complete red crown.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

An Island Endemic: Guadeloupe Woodpecker

Guadeloupe Woodpecker Melanerpes herminieri is the only picid on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Males and females are almost identical in appearance and in this shot and pose it is hard to say which sex the bird is, as the bill is hidden (males have longer bills). In addition, it is the only Melanerpes species in the Caribbean which does not exhibit sexual dimorphism in plumage. Photo taken by on Basse Terre, Guadeloupe, Lesser Antilles, November 2014. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Picid in Focus: Hairy Woodpecker

Male Hairy Woodpecker Picoides villosus. Photo taken near Portal, Arizona, USA, in July 2014, by Gerard Gorman.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Endemic Woodpeckers

An endemic species is one that is restricted in range to a particular habitat or region. In birding parlance the term often refers to a species being found only in one country. There are numerous endemic woodpeckers around the globe, with isolated islands often having endemic species. Here is a male Black-necked Woodpecker Colaptes atricollis race peruvianus, which is endemic to parts of Andean Peru. Taken in the Maranon Valley, Peru, November 2012, Gerard Gorman.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Picid in Focus: Arizona Woodpecker

Arizona Woodpecker Picoides arizonae. This is a male, females lack the red hind-crown patch. Note that despite the name, this species also occurs in northern Mexico. Photo taken near Portal, Arizona, USA in July 2014, by Gerard Gorman.