Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bird of the Day: White-headed Woodpecker at Calaveras Big Trees State Park

We headed out into the Sierra Nevada. We've really gone nuts in the gloom of fog, and had to see some sunlight. We ended up at Calaveras Big Trees State Park along Highway 4. While we wandered about the forest we could hear woodpeckers in the forest canopy above, so we were on the lookout. Finally one landed at the top of a dead pine.
The shots were difficult at the extreme zoom, but we got a couple of slightly less fuzzy shots of the White-headed Woodpecker (Picoides albolarvatus) as it pecked away at the treetop. I took a short video as well.

The White-headed Woodpecker is a bird of the western mountains, with a range extending from British Columbia to Southern California, but no further east than Idaho or western Nevada. They live pretty exclusively in montain forests. I've only seen them once before, with equally fuzzy photographic results, at the Columns of the Giants on the Stanislaus River in the Sierra Nevada, a few miles south of Calaveras Big Trees (below). I'll keep at until I get some sharp pictures!

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