"I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven."
Emily Dickinson

Friday, June 19, 2015

Nuts about woodpeckers?

A male Nuttall's Woodpecker pecks at nuts and seeds.
Californians are lucky to have a unique species of woodpeckers as year-round residents.  Nuttall's Woodpeckers are only found west of the southern Cascade Mountains and in the Sierra Nevada from Northern California to Baja, Mexico.  According to the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, sixth ed., Nuttall's Woodpeckers may hybridize with Ladder-backed Woodpeckers where ranges overlap in the western Mojave Desert and Owen's Valley. They have also been known to hybridize with Downy Woodpeckers in Southern California.

Look for these birds as they creep along tree trucks and branches using their stiff tails as a prop.  They often hang upside down as they probe the bark for insects. Woodpeckers can be found in woodlands and in neighborhoods with mature trees. You can attract them to your yard with suet and stackable seed and nut cylinders as seen in the photo. They have also been known to visit hummingbird feeders--see my post from May 30.

Happy Birding!

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