Red-headed woodpeckers are uncommon to rare in my area and declining in general throughout their range due to habitat loss and changes in availability of their food supply (primarily tree nuts). However, over the past few years they have become more prevalent around here as an overwintering species. A handful of them now typically show up each winter, scattered around the region. Earlier this week one was seen at a local park, in the same exact spot where another one had spent the winter a few years ago. The interesting thing is that both birds were immature birds, meaning they could not have been the same individual. So, somehow this second bird found this same spot, and chose to use what I’m pretty sure is the same tree for food caching. I went over to the park today and immediately found the bird, after running into a fellow birder who had just seen it. The sky was overcast, so the photos didn’t come out that great, but here are a few nonetheless. Once the bird finishes molting into its adult plumage it will have a bright red head and solid white patches on its wings, instead of the brownish head and black-spotted white patches seen here. In the last photo there are a few red feathers visible in the throat/upper breast.
Posted by birds fly on November 28, 2015