Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Sexual Dimorphism

Most woodpeckers are sexually dimorphic in appearance. That is, males and females have different plumage. However such differences are often slight, usually involving more colour on the head or face of the male. In a few cases, such as Williamson's Sapsucker Sphyrapicus thyroideus, sexual dimorphism is extreme, with the sexes appearing very different - males colourful, females plain. Photo of an adult male Williamson's Sapsucker taken in Oregon, USA, in July 2014 by Gerard Gorman.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Habitats: post burn forests

Although forests that have burnt may seem disaster zones that are void of life, this is not the case. Bark- and wood-boring beetles thrive in the dead timber and subsequently attract woodpeckers. For example, this burn by Davis Lake in Oregon, USA, currently (July 2014) hosts Hairy and Lewis's Woodpeckers, Northern Flicker and Williamson's, Red-naped and Red-breasted Sapsuckers. The standing snags provide ideal nesting sites adjacent to the beetle food resources.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Picid in Focus: Lewis's Woodpecker

Adult Lewis's Woodpecker Melanerpes lewis, with prey. Taken near Bend, Oregon, on July 6, 2014. Gerard Gorman.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Picid in Focus: Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker

A male (note the yellow crown) Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus, bringing food to its young in the cavity. Photo taken in Lower Austria (race alpinus) in spring 2014 by Thomas Hochebner

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Woodpecker book out today!

I am very pleased and proud to tell you all that my new book WOODPECKERS OF THE WORLD is officially published today by Helm/Bloomsbury. Thanks to all of you who helped in various ways. Gerard Gorman.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Picid in Focus: Fernandina's Flicker female

Female Fernandina's Flicker Colaptes fernandinae. A localised and vulnerable Cuban endemic. Photo by Gerard Gorman, Zapata Swamp, Cuba, March 2014.