Posted on 8 Comments

Woodpecker Alert!

Nuttall's Woodpecker 2
Today we identified a new woodpecker in our yard…really exciting stuff.

Nuttall's Woodpecker 1
He was hopping between the tree and the feeder, but I was able to snap a few photos to share with you.

Nuttall's Woodpecker 3

Nuttall’s Woodpecker

Picoides nuttallii
“The only black and white, zebra backed woodpecker with a black and white striped face normally found in California west of the Sierra. Males have red caps.”
Habitat: Wooded canyons and foothills, river woods, groves, and orchards.

I just love the unexpected nature study that happens along with real life. When you have to observe closely to identify a bird, you learn all kinds of things in the process. We learned that the Downy woodpecker that we normally see is very close to the Nuttall’s woodpecker but he has a big white spot on his back. Now we will be able to tell them apart quite easily.

New bird for our bird list!


8 thoughts on “Woodpecker Alert!

  1. That is one beautiful bird. Our Creator is so amazingly brilliant!

  2. very cool! at work the other day we saw a very large woodpecker – very rare (for N.H.): Pileated Woodpecker – Dryocopus pileatus. Isn’t it soo exciting to see new creatures?! The Pileated is the largest in N.America and the CAN be found in California so keep your eye open!

  3. When I saw the bird, I thought, “Oh, we see them constantly at the suet feeder” so I was surprised by the identified name. We have Downy Woodpeckers here constantly in NE Ohio – they DO look really similar. We also have pileated woodpeckers that live in the woods and SOMETIMES visit the feeder. When one does, it looks like a giant has visited the feeder – they are HUGE!

  4. He’s beautiful and you got some great shots. I got to observe a woodpecker in our yard a couple of weeks ago, but I couldn’t get any pictures. They’re such beautiful birds.

  5. He is beautiful! Those are also our favorite nature studies. We are obsessed with luring new critters to our suburban yard. We also had new woodpeckers recently; A pair of Northern Flickers!

  6. Heather,

    We saw a pair of Northern Flickers a few days ago as well. They are very striking birds….I am sort of glad that they were in our neighbor’s yard since they were on the ground poking around. I know my cats would torment them if they came over into our backyard.

    Nice comments from everyone…thanks so much.

  7. Now this is a species I haven’t seen! What a wonderful little guy! Thank you for your kind comment on my blog. It’s always nice to know I have another fan. I do know that there are many people who read my blog but never comment, including most of my family! Your comment was a pleasant surprise! I do hope you make it back to Tucson this year!

  8. Great picture.
    I was at the imperial palace in Tokyo and spotted a woodpecker that had similar black and white stripes on the back. I think that the one I spotted was a Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker (Yungipicus kizuki). Unfortunately I didn’t get very good pictures.

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