Documentation of Red-headed Woodpecker

Observer Information

Reporter:  Rob Norville  525 Midland Avenue #6,   New Castle, CO  81647
Other Observers: 

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Red-headed Woodpecker
First Date/Time:  5/28/2014 2:15:00 PM
Last Date/Time:  5/29/2014 4:50:00 PM
Duration (total time in view):  20 minutes
County:  Garfield
Specific Location:  Veltus Park
Number:  1
Age:  Adult
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Breeding

Description of the Bird

First sighting the bird flew across the path in front of me and landed high in a dead tree.  I watched it fly up and catch an insect, then land in the same tree.  I was exiting the park and did not have time to stay to continue my observation.  I went back the next day and saw the bird again high in the trees in the same area I saw it before.  It was active, rarely staying in one tree for more than a minute, but generally flying from tree to tree in the same area for about ten minutes.  It was unmistakably a red-headed woodpecker, with a perfect, solid bright red head and black and white body.

Similar Species Discussion

I was certain of the species on first viewing, actually didn't know it was a rarity in this area until I was submitting my e-bird report (I grew up in Illinois, they are more common there).  On seeing the first flash of red and recognizing woodpecker I may have considered Lewis's, but once it was stationary it was obviously a Red-headed Woodpecker.  I had my camera with my during the second sighting on 5/29/14, so I was able to get a couple of good photos to confirm my observation.

Resources Used

Initially my background knowledge of birds (I took an Ornithology class at University of Illinois in 2003 while working towards my B.S. in Biology).  I did confirm with both my National Geographic field guide and when I got home.  I was able to take pictures for documentation during my second sighting on 5/29/14.

Previous Experience

I was born and raised and went to college in Illinois where this species is more common.  I now live and work in western Colorado, and I frequently see Lewis's Woodpecker when birding, along with Downy Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers, and Red-naped Sapsuckers.


Notes made AFTER observation

Materials Available

Photographer: Rob Norville

Photos |


Date Documentation Submitted

6/3/2014 4:44:00 PM
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Location Map

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