ARTISTS AND BIRDS

"Find a Ladder-backed Woodpecker"


ladder-backed woodpecker
        The Ladder-backed Woodpecker has a rather large range and is fairly common where there are dry, brushy areas and thickets. This is the Woodpecker every birder wants to see at the St. George Winter Bird Festival. Not only are Ladder-backs beautiful to see, they are fun to watch as they forage for food by fluttering, turning, twisting, and sideways hopping. This Woodpecker will nest in anything large enough to hold the nest hole . . . cacti, yuccas, agave stalks, dead trees, poles, or posts. They can be found year-round over the southwestern United States, most of Mexico, and in Central America as far south as Nicaragua.

        This smaller Woodpecker has a barred pattern on its back and wings resembling the rungs of a ladder, thus the name of Ladder-backed. Adult males have a red crown patch. Immature Ladder-backs have a small red patch, and females have none. There isn’t a great deal of research on this Woodpecker. They are often seen in pairs and sometimes in family groups of four. Both males and females will excavate the nesting hole and feed the young.  If you would like to find this Woodpecker, go where there are mature fruit and nut tree lots. I have recently seen them in the historical Jacob Hamblin area, Hurricane / LaVerkin nut & fruit producing areas, and Lytle Ranch. Call me at 435 673-0996 to tell me if, and where you find one.

        The Ladder-backed Woodpecker was drawn by Brenda Rusnell. This is a great interpretation of this beautiful bird.

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