Angry Acorn

Acorn woodpeckers have always struck me as the clowns of Southern Arizona's Sky Islands. They're absurdly vocal, funny-looking, and have really interesting social dynamics! Large family groups will occupy a territory, working collectively to fend off invaders and protect their precious caches of acorns which are stashed in the trunks of dead trees. The woodpeckers will bore a single hole per acorn that requires housing, resulting in the tree becoming downright covering with these small cavities. This shot was snapped right after two others had flown from the perch. Chiricahua Mountains, AZ.

Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn woodpeckers will form tribes which defend territory and cache sometimes thousands of acorns, each contained within it's own tiny, perfectly-shaped hole of a dead tree. These food stores often sate them through lean times, such as winter. Madera Canyon, AZ.
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Dive Bomb

While on a hike the other day, I heard an unmistakable ruckus ahead. It was a group of acorn woodpeckers. These charismatic birds are funny both in appearance and behavior. They will form tribes which defend territory and cache sometimes thousands of acorns, each contained within it's own tiny, perfectly-shaped hole of a dead tree. These food stores often sate them through lean times, such as winter. This particular family was in trouble, as a squirrel had discovered their larders. Every time the squirrel would attempt to pluck an acorn from it's hole, he / she would get dive-bombed by alternating woodpeckers defending their food. The squirrel would sprint for an acorn and rush for cover (the crook of two tree limbs), attempting to evade the relentless birds. This went on for over 10 minutes before the squirrel, content and no doubt eager for stress reduction moved along and the woodpeckers inspected their losses. Prints of this image are not currently available for sale. Please check back for future availability!

Berry Delicious

This red-naped sapsucker was a very gracious photo subject. He/she hopped around for quite some time. The saga began with this stunning sapsucker plucking berries off a pyracantha bush.
He / she eventually migrated to a sycamore tree right next to me which Mr or Mrs. woodpecker spent some time closely inspecting. Prints of this image are not currently available for sale. Please check back for future availability!

Gila Woodpecker

Gila woodpeckers are the most common inhabitants of Southeastern AZ's desert valleys. They eagerly bore holes in the iconic Saguaro cactus for food as well as nest holes, but also take full advantage of metal human signs to proudly announce territorial dominance. This fellow is checking up on the nest! Saguaro National Park, AZ.

Sapsucker Profile

This red-naped sapsucker was a very gracious photo subject. He/she hopped around for quite some time. The saga began with this stunning sapsucker plucking berries off a pyracantha bush.
He / she eventually migrated to a sycamore tree right next to me which Mr or Mrs. woodpecker spent some time closely inspecting.
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Lineated Woodpecker

The lineated woodpecker is quite a grand species, comparable to the Eastern USA's
pileated in grandness. After hammering the tree for a few minutes, this fellow seemed unimpressed, option to move along. Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica.

Fighting Flickers

While traipsing through a grassy meadow, I noticed these two flickers behaving quite strangely. They would repeatedly hop around this isolated rock, occasionally bobbing heads at each other. Every so often one would chase the other a few feet away before going right back at it.
Apparently, this peculiar "dance" is a well-known part of flicker courtship. Apache National Forest, AZ.
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Three-Toed Woodpecker

Right at the trailhead to to Quandary Peak, in Breckenridge, CO, this three-toed woodpecker was drilling away without a care in the world.
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