9-9 1/2" (24 cm). A medium-sized woodpecker unlike any other in the United States. Male has black head, breast band, and back, white facial stripes, bright red throat, and large white shoulder and rump patches. Lemon yellow belly is bordered with black-and-white-barred flanks. In flight, black with white rump and shoulder patches. Sexes very dissimilar: female has brown head, dark brown and white "zebra" stripes on back, sides, and wings; large dark bib, white rump, and smaller, less brilliant yellow area on belly.
Similar Species- female resembles a small flicker
A soft, nasal churrr, descending in pitch. Drums a distinctive, patterned, rapid series of taps, followed by three or four taps given slowly.
Breeds from southern interior British Columbia, Idaho, and western Montana, south in mountains to northern and east-central California, and locally in southern California, central Arizona, southern New Mexico, and northern Baja California. Winters mainly from breeding range, south to northern Baja California, northwestern Mexico, and western Texas.
Found in montane coniferous forests, especially fir and lodgepole pine. During migration and in winter, also found in lowland forests.
Consumes sap, cambium, and insects. Ants may comprise 86% of animal food. Also eats white wood- boring larvae and moths of spruce budworms.
Nests in cavity in standing snag/hollow tree; sometimes returns to same tree, but not same cavity, year after year. Drills holes in trees, or forages on ground.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
No references are available at this time.