Sunday, 25 September 2011

Picid in Focus: Lewis's Woodpecker

At about 27cm in length, Lewis's Woodpecker Melanerpes lewis is the largest member of the genus. It is a heavy-looking, dark but handsome, long-tailed, long-winged picid. Most of head, upper-parts and wings are dark green, it has a red face, a grey nape, collar and chest, and a pinkish breast and belly. In flight it looks particularly dark. The sexes are almost identical, not exhibiting sexual dimorphism in colour. Juveniles lacks the red face and grey collar and are less pink below. Photo by Steve Shunk, Oregon, USA.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Picid in Focus: Arizona Woodpecker

Arizona Woodpecker Picoides arizonae was until fairly recently regarded as a race of Strickland's Woodpecker. It is polytypic with 2 subspecies recognised: nominate arizonae occurs in south-east Arizona into north-western Mexico and fraterculus in western Mexico, southwards to southern Sinaloa and Durango. It often inhabits oakwoods. Photo of this male (note the red hindcrown which female lacks) by Pete Ferrera taken in May 2002.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Picid In Focus: Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Golden-fronted Woodpecker Melanerpes aurifrons is a bird of dry open woodlands, mesquite brush, also pecan plantations. It ranges across north-Central America, from the southern USA, south through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. 12 races are recognised. Photo by Steve Shunk, USA.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Genus: Geocolaptes

The genus Geocolaptes includes just one species Geocolaptes olivaceus Ground Woodpecker. There are two races olivaceus and prometheus. It is endemic to South Africa and lives in open rocky uplands, often devoid of trees. It is also a social species living in family groups. Photo taken at Rooiels, South Africa by Warwick Tarboton.