Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Bird of the Day: Nuttall's Woodpecker in the "Pasture"

I was getting back into my habit of morning walks today and noticed a lot of racket from some Mockingbirds in the nearly dead oak tree next to the pasture I walk around. I looked up expecting Mockingbirds, but instead just twenty feet away there was a Nuttall's Woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii) in the same tree. I got the camera on and snapped two quick shots before it wandered off.

Nuttall's Woodpeckers are pretty much an Alta California endemic, with a bit of their range slipping south of the border into Baja California. They hang out almost exclusively in oak woodlands but don't eat acorns. They are after insects and other arthropods and occasionally some fruit. I've seen the Nuttall's Woodpecker in my neighborhood a few times now, and it was one of the biggest surprises since I started exploring the blocks around my house.

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