You, my dear readers, are giving me some large shoes to fill. Melissa (her blog) says I am an “awesome dude”. Cindy (her blog) says I have a “magnetic personality”. My friend Ross McSwain (his website) says “Bob, you are the best bird photographer that I have ever come across”. Of course, he is a personal friend of mine and he better danged well say that. 🙂
Anyway, after all those fine words, I find it difficult to keep coming up with subjects to write about. Each day, I stumble through my images and try to find some that I haven’t shown you. Or a story that I haven’t told you. On that subject I could actually think of many stories, but I have to decide which ones are fit for print.
So, today, I came across these photos of the Ladder-backed Woodpecker (Picoides scalaris). They were taken on various occasions during my travels across west Texas and here at San Angelo State Park. At one time, pre-birding days, I thought any woodpecker with a red head was a Red-headed Woodpecker. Not so. The Ladder-backed Woodpecker has a red head, but so has the Red-bellied Woodpecker, Acorn Woodpecker, Red-naped Sapsucker and the Red-breasted Sapsucker. Some others have litle red spots but we won’t count them.
I tossed in the names of the sapsuckers, because they look like woodpeckers. So the mystery deepens even more. How about this? The Red-bellied Woodpecker doesn’t have a red belly. Not that you would notice. I think there is a pink tinge in the lower abdominal area.
Now if you look at the “ladder back”, you can also see the same patterns on the Gila Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Nuttall’s Woodpecker, and lest we forget, those sapsuckers. So, IDing the woodpecker species can get a bit tricky. So I guess if I can ID them correctly, that make me an “awesome dude.
So there you have it. I am sure that someone will tell me about other distinctive differences that I missed, but this is my story and I am sticking with it. 🙂
Click on any image to see an enlargement. Have a great time enjoying them.