Re: woodpecker drummings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Subject: Re: woodpecker drummings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From: (Syd Curtis)
Date: Sat, 4 Jul 1998 16:26:37 +1000
>At 15:04 3/07/98 +1000, Eric wrote:
>>I have to admit to quite a bit of a thrill
>>when I spotted my first Woodpecker in the wild (Scotland), and subsequently
>>in Africa.  They really are very pretty birds.
>I couldn't agree more with Eric!  Woodpeckers realy are very special birds.
>Fay and I were fortunate enough to see several species during our recent
>trip to the United States and Europe.
>Julian Bielewicz
>Past President
>Queensland Ornithological Society

May I add my two-pence worth?  My first encounter with a drumming
woodpecker was one of the most fabulous 'birding' moments of all my
'three-score & ten' :

The Everglades in Florida, summer of '72.  Some time previously a tornado
had ripped the tops out of the tall palms on one of the forested
'hammocks', leaving the trunks standing.  The soft centres had rotted away
leaving the hard outer shells.  Each trunk was a huge drum.  I hadn't even
realised there were woodpeckers there, and then this machine-gun of noise
fired off right above my head.  An incredible volume of sound!

There are some things the Americans do very well indeed.  National Park
management used to be one of them.  (I hear rumours that the Service is
being starved of funds these days.)  Near my woodpecker's forest there was
a patch of open water, and a  sign


So simple, and so much more likely to get the co-operation of Park visitors
than saying "Fishing prohibited" followed by details of penalties that

Lorne started this by asking -

> Can anyone tell me more about woodpeckers or flickers in the southern states
> of the USA? Are there indeed woodpeckers in these areas?

Sorry Lorne, for not emailing you direct.  I deleted your request before
deciding that perhaps I could respond, and now I haven't got your address.
You've probably got what you need direct from experts, and I have only the
Roger Tory Peterson guide to western birds (i.e. west of 100 degrees), not
the whole of the US of A, but for what its worth these are the western ones
he lists all of which extend to southern States -

***Yellow-shafted Flicker, Colaptes auratus.  Alaska, Canada, south to the
Gulf States, Cuba.
***Red-shafted Flicker, C. cafer. Se. Alaska ... through w. U.S., Mexico to
***Guilded Flicker, C. chrysoides.  Resident in se. California (Colorado
River), s.Arizona, Baja California, Sonora, n. Sinaloa.

***Pileated Woodpecker, Dryocopus pileatus.  Canada to California, Gulf States

***Red-bellied Woodpecker, Centurus carolinus, Great Lakes to Gulf of Mexico.
***Golden-fronted Woodpecker, C. aurifrons.  Sw. Oklahoma, middle Texas
(east to Austin, c. coast) south to Nicaragua.
***Gila Woodpecker, C. uropygialis.  Resident from se. California
(Imperial Valley), s. tip of Nevada, s. Arizona, sw. New Mexico to c.

***Red-headed Woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus.  S. Canada, mainly
east of the Rockies to Gulf States.  ("Woody Woodpecker" of song and
cartoon fame???)
***Acorn Woodpecker M. formicivorus.  Resident from Oregon (local) south
through California (w. of Sierra divide); and from Arizona, New Mexicao, w.
Texas (Trans-Pecos) to w. Panama.

***Lewis Woodpecker, Asyndesmus lewis.  Breeds from c. B.C.,sw. Alberta,
Montana, Black Hills south to mts. of s.-c. California (sparse), n.
Arizona, s. New Mexico.  Winters in Oregon, n. Utah, Colorado to n. Mexico.

***Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Sphyrapicus varius (in part).  Canada to s.
Rocky Mts., s. Appalachians.  Winters to Central America, West Indies.
***"Red-breasted" (sic) Sapsucker, S. varius (in part).  Pacific area.
Breeds form se. Alaska, w. B.C., south in coast belt to n. California and
through ***Williamson's Sapsucker, S. thryoideus.  Breeds in mts. from se.
B.C., ne. Washington ... to high mts. of s. California, Nevada; ...
Winters to adjacent lower elevations in Pacific States and from Arizona,
New Mexico, w. Texas into n. Mexico.

***Hairy (sic) Woodpecker, ("Hairy"! ??? ) Dendrocopos villosus.
("villosus" - maybe it IS hairy!)  Alaska, Canada to Panama.
***Downy Woodpecker, D. pubescens.  Alaska, Canada to s. U.S.
***Ladder-backed Woodpecker D. scalaris (the only "zebra-backed woodpecker
with a black & white striped face).  Resident from se. California ... w.
Texas (east to 97 degrees); south to Chiapas, B. Honduras.
***Nuttall's Woodpecker, D. nuttallii.  Resident in California, west of the
Sierra and deserts, from s. Humbolt Co. and head of Sacramento Valley south
to nw. Baja California
***Arizona Woodpecker, D. arizonae. Resident from mts. of se. Arizona, sw.
New Mexico south to s.-c. Mexico.
***White-headed Woodpecker, D. albolarvatus.  From n. Washington, n. Idaho
south ... to California, (inner Coast Ranges to Colusa Co. and throught
Sierra, including e. slope in w. Nevada); also higher mts. of s.

***Black-backed Three-toed Woodpecker, Picoides arcticus.  Boreal forests
of N. America.West: Resident from c. Alaska  ... south to high Sierra in c.
***Northern Three-toed Woodpecker, P. tridactylus.  Boreal forests of N.
hemisphere.  West: n. Alaska, n. Yukon ... south to high mts. of ... c. New

So there's a goodly list to look for.  Whether there are additional species
in eastern US that don't get over to the west, I know not.  And note that
my Peterson is the 1961 edition.  One hopes that avian taxonomy in the
States is more settled than Australian, but it would be unwise to count on

As Woodpeckers interest you, may I recommend "My Year with the Woodpeckers"
by Heinz Sielmann - if you haven't got it already.  My copy, English
translation, published by Barrie and Lockliff, (Barrie Books Ltd), 2
Clement's Inn, London, 1959.  (Original: "Das Jahr mit den Specten",
Ullstein A.G. Berlin, 1958.)  Excellent photography.  European woodpeckers
only, of course, but fascinating. (And no cat jokes!)  Might be hard to
track down now, even in a library.  If you wish to borrow my copy, send me
your postal address.


Syd Curtis at Hawthorne, Q.

H Syd Curtis

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU