They're fairly common around Phoenix, though still hard enough to get a picture of since they continually circle around their trees and are pretty shy to begin with. I was lucky to get a few in-flight shots though. Like other woodpeckers, the Gila flies with several quick wing beats before allowing itself to glide and loose a bit of altitude.
With all the sightings, I was a bit peeved I had not pulled off any good shots of a Gila Pecker, but then this fine fellow had his picture taken 09/24/2011 at the Desert Botanical Garden. Click on the images for a larger viewing.
|Courtesy of Cornell Lab of Ornithology|