Monday, February 8, 2010

Two Woodpeckers, in Mexico

Originally posted 1/4/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

UPDATE:  After posting this photo, a friend of mine expressed doubt that the topmost bird is a Lineated Woodpecker.  For example, the tail feathers much more closely resemble those of a Pale-billed Woodpecker.  Also, the white markings on lineateds do not typically come together in the "V" shape apparent here on the bird's back whereas they do meet like that in pale-bills.   So, based on appearance alone, I'd call both of these birds as pale-bills.  In corresponding with John Lofgreen, he maintains that he did indeed observe and capture a Lineated Woodpecker as the upper bird in this image.   In any event, it's an interesting and pleasing image that I'm grateful to have here.
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Here is another photo that is extraordinary because it includes two species of woodpeckers that are rarely photographed together.   The Pale-billed Woodpecker belongs to the Campephilus genus.   The Lineated Woodpecker belongs to the Dryocopus genus (the same genus that Pileated and Black Woodpeckers belong to). These two birds look similar and so are confusion species.  It is not uncommon to see each bird listed as the other species on photos posted on the web.

Many thanks to John Lofgreen of Anchorage, Alaska for sharing this photo here.  He almost caught a third woodpecker species with these two!  As he wrote:

This is another photo from Singayta. The lower bird on the left, is a Pale-billed Woodpecker. The upper bird is a Lineated Woodpecker. This was the last photo on that roll of film. While I was changing rolls, a Golden-cheeked Woodpecker landed next to them, but all three birds were gone before I was ready to shoot again. What a photo it would have been.

 John is a published wildlife artist.  You can find more of his beautiful work here:

 at his site John Lofgreen Wildlife Art and at his blog  The Life of a Painter

Singayta is a good bird watching location close to San Blas, Nayarit on the west coast of Mexico.

2 comments:

Chris said...

Wow that was probably fantastic for him to see three different species on the same tree! Superb pictures with two already. Thanks for sharing!

Mark Whittaker said...

Facinating ... Really lovely and looking forward to following your blog

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