At Spring Creek park I came across this Ladder-backed Woodpecker cavorting among the trees. On previous occasions, my photographs of them weren’t really anything to write home about. But this time I got lucky. I was able to walk into the trees and select my shooting positions at ease. That is a big change for me, as I usually photograph from the car. I guess he was pretty engrossed in whatever he was pecking away at. The light was somewhat tricky, with the leaves filtering the sun. I was carrying my Canon EOS 7D with a 100-400mm lens.
As you can see, this is a male of the species. It has the red crown on the head. Of course, this does not mean that all woodpeckers with red crowns are Ladder-backs. I have found out the hard way, since I was an ordinary person, (a non-birder), that several other woodpeckers have some red on their heads. Most notably, of course, is the aptly named Red-headed Woodpecker. So not to confuse you any further, it’s best to consult your bird guides for other field marks to determine the proper identification.
Click on either image to see an enlargement.