Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Picid in Focus: Lewis's Woodpecker nestling

This young Lewis's Woodpecker Melanerpes lewis is almost ready to leave the nesting cavity. Bend, Oregon, July 2014, Gerard Gorman.

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.