Lewis’s Woodpeckers Put On A Show

by Larry on October 29, 2012

Lewis’s Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis) photos by Larry Jordan

Lewis’s Woodpeckers (Melanerpes lewis) usually begin their molt in autumn and it can last through the winter. The bird above appears to be molting (click on photos for full sized images).

I noticed that they had returned from their breeding grounds a few weeks ago and were showing up in fairly large numbers among the large oaks along the rural route I take to work each morning.

They have a distinctive plumage and show conspicuous insect hawking behavior from the tree tops, easily seen from the roadway.

These images were taken with my digiscoping setup and I was fortunate to catch this bird as it took off from its perch.

I also shot some video of a couple of Lewis’s Woodpeckers, one foraging, possibly on acorns, in an oak tree and another (the bird pictured in the top photo) that was preening in a snag.

You will hear several other species of birds in the background including the California Quail, Western Scrub-Jay, Northern Flicker, White-breasted Nuthatch and the high pitched chatter of the Lewis’s Woodpecker.

To see more great bird photos, check out The Bird D’pot and Wild Bird Wednesday!

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