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Gila Woodpecker

Woodpeckers, especially the Gila Woodpecker and the Ladder-backed woodpecker can be seen a lot in Arizona - a preferred nisting place is inside the Saguaro Cactus. Watch out for the nisting holes and listen carefully during breeding time which is approx. April/May (in the Phoenix area): you might hear the woodpecker 'kids'.

Size approx. 23 cm (8.5 inches).
Considered a medium sized woodpecker
Tan head, throat, breast, and belly
Back strongly barred with black and white
Black wings barred and spotted with white
White bases to the primaries appear as white crescent in the hand in flight
White rump and uppertail coverts with sparse dark barring
Dark tail with barred central tail feathers
Adult male:
Small, red cap on top of head

Gila Woodpecker (female) in Arizona at a Saguaro Cactus feeding kids
Gila Woodpecker (female) in Arizona at a Saguaro Cactus feeding kids

Ladder-backed or Gila Woodpecker



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Source: USGS; magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20090212
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