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.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Woodpecker Vocalisations

Woodpeckers tend to make simple calls, much simpler in structure than those of, for example, most passerines. Calls are highly functional and are made year round, by both sexes. But the extent to which the different species call varies greatly, some are rather taciturn, others (especially gregarious social species) are often noisy. In this photo a Cardinal Woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens in Tanzania is in full voice (Gerard Gorman).

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Picid in Focus: Elliot's Woodpecker

Here is an often silent, easily over-looked and seldom photographed woodpecker from Africa: Elliot's Woodpecker Dendropicos elliotii male. Photographed in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda, by Gerard Gorman.