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Ladder-backed Woodpecker

From Opus

Male D. s. cactophilusPhoto © by Stanley Jones Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, Edinburg, Hidalgo County, Texas, USA, April 2019
Male D. s. cactophilus
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Edinburg Scenic Wetlands, Edinburg, Hidalgo County, Texas, USA, April 2019
Dryobates scalaris

Picoides scalaris; Dendrocopos scalaris; Picus scalaris


[edit] Identification

Female D. s. cactophilusPhoto © by bobsofpa Ash Canyon, Arizona, USA, 29 April 2010
Female D. s. cactophilus
Photo © by bobsofpa
Ash Canyon, Arizona, USA, 29 April 2010

16.5 to 19 cm (6½ to 7½ inches) in length
Straight black bill

  • Black and white, barring on back and wings
  • Black spotted, white underparts and rump

Adult males

  • Red crown to nape (smaller in immatures)
  • Buff forehead
  • Black forecrown with red feather tips

Adult female has a black crown

[edit] Similar Species

Nuttall's Woodpecker is similar but darker with broader dark bars across back and face.

[edit] Distribution

South-western United States, Mexico, and Nicaragua.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

There are 8 subspecies[1]:

  • D. s. cactophilus:
  • Arid south-western US to north-eastern Baja California and central Mexico
  • D. s. eremicus:
  • Northern Baja California
  • D. s. lucasanus:
  • Southern Baja California
  • D. s. graysoni:
  • Tres Marías Islands (off western Mexico)
  • D. s. sinaloensis:
  • Coastal western Mexico (southern Sonora to Guerrero, south-western Puebla, western Oaxaca)
  • D. s. scalaris:
  • Southern Mexico (Veracruz and Chiapas)
  • D. s. parvus:
  • North Yucatán Peninsula, Cozumel Island and Holbox Island
  • D. s. leucoptilurus:

[edit] Habitat

Deserts and open woodland in very dry areas; also woods along seasonally dry water courses.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

They nest in cavities excavated in tree trunks. Their clutch contains 2 to 7 plain white eggs which are incubated by both adults.

[edit] Diet

Their diet consists mostly of insects, invertebrates and their larva, such as beetles, caterpillars and ants; they also eat some fruit.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. Avibase
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2019)

[edit] External Links


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