Documentation of Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Observer Information

Reporter:  Polly Wren Neldner  PO Box 358,   La Veta, CO  81055
Other Observers:  Paul Neldner, Dave Silverman, Leon Bright, possibly Brandon Percival, Mark Peterson and several others

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Ladder-backed Woodpecker
First Date/Time:  12/5/2004 1:00:00 PM
Last Date/Time:  2/10/2005 4:29:00 PM
Duration (total time in view):  2 months, 5 days
County:  Huerfano
Specific Location:  La Veta
Number:  1
Age:  Adult
Sex:  Male
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


Rural backyard, mixed deciduous, conifer and grassland

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  cannot remember
Distance:  15 feet
Light:  good

Description of the Bird

Small male woodpecker. Slightly larger than Downy.  Red crown, extending to the eye.  Buffy nasal patch. Heavily barred back...almost zebra striped. Barring extended all the way up the back. Thin black eye stripe and malar. Fairly long bill. Fed from our feeders and seemed to associate more the female Red-bellied that was present at the same time, than it did with Hairy or Downy. The Ladder-backed and Red-bellied seemed to tolerate each other better.

Similar Species Discussion

Eliminated from Downy Woodpecker due to heavily barred back, placement and size of red patch. Downy's is only on nape. Longer bill than Downy

Resources Used


Previous Experience

Was a life bird at the time. We had experience with both Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers.

Reporting the bird as it is unusal for our location within the state, and found it interesting that it and the Red-bellied left our yard on the same day.



Materials Available

Photographer: Paul Neldner

Photos |


Date Documentation Submitted

12/29/2013 2:08:00 PM
Click left or right edges of photos to move through all; click outside image to close

Location Map

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