Species Profile: Nuttall’s Woodpecker

Nuttall’s Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii

Learn more about this species in the Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers of North America.

Introduction to the species

“All of the climbing birds are, of course, pretty good at climbing, that being their business; but this little Woodpecker has a trick of flying up and lighting on the underside of a limb, and while thus upside down turning around a few times, like an inverted weather-cock, which makes one gasp, and wonder if he has any nerves at all.”
-J. Burroughs 1917

The familiar metallic rattle of Nuttall’s Woodpecker rings across California’s oaken landscape, echoing up from wooded ravines as a signature of the Golden State’s diverse avifauna. All but endemic to California, the Nuttall’s has rarely been reported outside the state. Three recent photographic records exist for Nevada; the only Arizona record, from 1901, is probably a mislabeled specimen; and the only four confirmed records for Oregon are from birds that now rest in scientific collections.

Gallery of photos of the Nuttall’s Woodpecker by Steve Shunk

 

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