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Nuttall's Woodpecker (chick)
Venice, CA
May 21, 2013

SPECIES INFO

Nuttall's Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii, is a species of woodpecker named after naturalist Thomas Nuttall.

Habitat

Nuttall's Woodpecker is common in groves of live oak and chaparral west of the Sierra mountains in the state of California and extends south into the top of the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico.

Description

Nuttall's Woodpecker is a small woodpecker about 6 to 7 inches in length. It is primarily colored black and white, with a barred pattern across its back and wings, and a plain black tail. Its white breast is also speckled with black on the flanks and rump. The male Nuttall's also has a red patch on the back of its head. Nuttall's Woodpecker is very similar in appearance to the Ladder-backed Woodpecker, but Nuttall's Woodpecker has more black on the head, face, and upper back, and males have less red on the head. The range of the two species only intersects a minimal amount in southern California and northern Baja California, so misidentification should not be a concern over the majority of their range.

This species has hybridized with the Ladder-backed Woodpecker and with the Downy Woodpecker as well.




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