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Gila Woodpecker Melanerpes uropygialis


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Gila Woodpecker
credit: Necropenguin

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Picidae, Woodpeckers view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has striking black and white barring on back, much of upper-wing and upper-tail coverts. Head and underparts are mostly fairly uniform warm graybuff, but note small, yet striking red crown. ADULT FEMALE Similar, but head lacks red crown. JUVENILE Similar to adult female.

Dimensions Length: 8-10" (20-25 cm)

Habitat Reasonably common in suitable desert habitats within its limited range, which extends from extreme southeastern California and southern Arizona, south through western Mexico. Favors desert woodlands where large saguaro cacti dominate.

Observation Tips Easy to see in suitable habitats in southern Arizona.

Range Southwest, California, Rocky Mountains

Voice Utters a raucous yeet-yeet-yeleetÖ (vaguely reminiscent of distant gulls calling) and a rolling churr call.

Discussion Desert woodpecker whose range overlaps with that of larger Gilded Flicker. In flight, easily separated from Gilded by barred, not white, rump. Typically nests in holes excavated in saguaro cacti. Sexes are dissimilar.