A primarily Mexican species, the Arizona Woodpecker reaches the northern extent of its range in the southwestern U.S. Formerly known as the Strickland’s Woodpecker, two races were split into separate species, with the Strickland’s Woodpecker occurring only in central Mexico and the Arizona Woodpecker being somewhat more widespread.
U.S. forests occupied by Arizona Woodpeckers are of little commercial value, so populations of this species have not been reduced by logging, though as a species it is uncommon across its range. Little information is available regarding its lifespan or main causes of mortality.
Photograph © Glenn Bartley
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Description of the Arizona Woodpecker
The Arizona Woodpecker has a brown back, brown-spotted white underparts, a brown forehead, and a brown face patch outlined by white.
Male has a red patch on the back of the head.
Does not have red patch on the head as does the male.
Seasonal change in appearance
Similar to adults.
Oak and pine-oak woodlands.
Forages by probing for insects on tree trunks and branches.
Arizona Woodpeckers are resident in southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and Mexico.
Like other woodpeckers, the Arizona Woodpecker has an undulating flight pattern.
Other woodpecker species are often chased away from Arizona Woodpecker nests.
A loud “peep” call is most often given, but rattles and “keek” calls as well as “tik-tik-tik” calls are also given.
No other North American woodpeckers have a solid brown back.
The Arizona Woodpecker nests in an excavated cavity in a large tree.
Incubation and fledging:
?- Young hatch at about 14 days.
?- Young fledge (leave the nest) in 24-27 days, but associate with the adults for some time.