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California, Sierra (Tahoe) Woodpecker (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
Today I saw a woodpecker I cannot identify.
It was fairly small in size. It had the red patch on top of the head typical of many woodpeckers. The sides had black and white stripes, each stripe being about ... 1cm wide, perhaps.

On the back, there was a large black patch that covered the center of the back, and reached almost to the head. The black patch stopped below the neck; the neck was white, and the head black with the red splotch on top. The black patch had white around it, and the flanks were striped, as mentioned.

I consulted my guides, and the closest match is Nuttall's Woodpecker, but it striped in the back, it does not have that black patch on the back. The hairy or downy woodpeckers have a white, not a black, patch.

Do you have any suggestions? I remember the black patch quite distinctly... unfortunately I could not get my camera out in time, it stayed a short time on a tree and then flew away to more distant trees.


Well-known member
The best match I can come up with for this description is an Acorn Woodpecker.

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