Monday, September 5, 2011

Ladder-Backed Woodpecker

The Ladder-Backed Woodpecker is one of those unfortunate birds that must work very hard to distinguish himself from other similar or more recognizable members of his family (Picidae). He has a black-and-white zebra back like the sapsuckers, Gila Woodpecker, Red-Bellied woodpecker, the Red-Cockaded, and the Nuttall's Woodpecker. However, he is a couple inches smaller than the Sapsuckers and Gila, while the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, in addition to being very rare, does not move West of Texas. Thus the Ladder-Backed Woodpecker's real competition is the Nuttall's, but their facial masks are distinguishable, with the Nuttall's preferring a bit more black, and the Ladder-Backed is the only one of the two to be found east of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
I really like the texture and hue this cottonwood adds to the setting.

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