Saturday, March 27, 2021

Golden-Fronted Woodpecker

The golden-fronted woodpecker is found in portions of Texas and Oklahoma in the U.S., then south through portions of Mexico and into Central America. In the U.S. it is found in mesquite woodlands near water. 
Distribution from Wikipedia
Its back and wings are barred black and white and it has a tan breast. Males have a yellow spot in front of their eyes, a red crown and a yellow-orange nape. On northern birds the lower belly is yellow. 
This one, found in Caprock Canyons, has a yellow lower belly. 

This photo shows the black barring on the back and wings. 
There are four subspecies that differ in size, color of the nape, nasal tufts and belly. On southern birds the nape is red in the Yucatan and orange further south. 

They eat as much fruit and nuts as insects. In Texas, in the summer, the faces of some are stained purple from eating fruit of the prickly pear cactus. 

I saw my first one at Caprock Canyon State Park near a bird feeder. At first I thought it was a flicker, but then was confused by the yellow on the head. 

Later I saw another one at San Angelo State Park, also near a bird feeder. I first saw it in a tree, then it later flew to the bird feeder where it spent quite a bit of time feeding. 

This one also has yellow in the lower belly. 

This one in San Angelo State Park flew to the bird feeder and I got it in flight. Note the yellow in front of the eyes. 

1 comment:

  1. Those last two photos are wonderful. The head-on flight photo is intimidating and then in the next one it looks like someone's pet. Really beautiful colors.