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young Nuttall's?


Emily Wheeler
 

I've been birding only since last September, so this is my first birding spring. Nuttall's woodpeckers are not unusual in my North Gate (Walnut Creek) neighborhood, but today I noticed some different behavior. On Deerpark Drive near Valle Vista, two males and one female were hopping and fluttering about a low street tree, calling out continually. They proceeded gradually down the street, flying to one tree, then another. When the two males crossed the street to a new tree, the female changed to a different call. I don't think any of them did any pecking.
I was able to stay within 20-25 feet of them as they moved along. They looked a little small to me, more nuthatch-sized. In retrospect I think their tails may have been shorter than the other Nuttall's I've seen. Could these have been youngsters? Is it typical for woodpeckers (and other altricials for that matter) to fly before reaching adult size?
This is my first post to this list. I hope it's appropriate to ask such a basic question.

Emily Wheeler
Walnut Creek


 

Emily,

Was the red on "males'" heads on the forecrown or hindcrown?

Adult males have red on the back only. Red forecrown is seen young birds just out of the nest. I think they use it to signal to the parents.

Dominik

On Apr 12, 2020, at 11:43, emily4english@... wrote:

I've been birding only since last September, so this is my first birding spring. Nuttall's woodpeckers are not unusual in my North Gate (Walnut Creek) neighborhood, but today I noticed some different behavior. On Deerpark Drive near Valle Vista, two males and one female were hopping and fluttering about a low street tree, calling out continually. They proceeded gradually down the street, flying to one tree, then another. When the two males crossed the street to a new tree, the female changed to a different call. I don't think any of them did any pecking.
I was able to stay within 20-25 feet of them as they moved along. They looked a little small to me, more nuthatch-sized. In retrospect I think their tails may have been shorter than the other Nuttall's I've seen. Could these have been youngsters? Is it typical for woodpeckers (and other altricials for that matter) to fly before reaching adult size?
This is my first post to this list. I hope it's appropriate to ask such a basic question.

Emily Wheeler
Walnut Creek


Marcus
 


Emily Wheeler
 

Yes, thanks, I should have mentioned: the males definitely had red forecrowns. The red extended all through the hindcrown too.

Emily

On Apr 12, 2020, at 1:25 PM, dominikmosur@... wrote:

Emily,

Was the red on "males'" heads on the forecrown or hindcrown?

Adult males have red on the back only. Red forecrown is seen young birds just out of the nest. I think they use it to signal to the parents.

Dominik





On Apr 12, 2020, at 11:43, emily4english@... wrote:

I've been birding only since last September, so this is my first birding spring. Nuttall's woodpeckers are not unusual in my North Gate (Walnut Creek) neighborhood, but today I noticed some different behavior. On Deerpark Drive near Valle Vista, two males and one female were hopping and fluttering about a low street tree, calling out continually. They proceeded gradually down the street, flying to one tree, then another. When the two males crossed the street to a new tree, the female changed to a different call. I don't think any of them did any pecking.
I was able to stay within 20-25 feet of them as they moved along. They looked a little small to me, more nuthatch-sized. In retrospect I think their tails may have been shorter than the other Nuttall's I've seen. Could these have been youngsters? Is it typical for woodpeckers (and other altricials for that matter) to fly before reaching adult size?
This is my first post to this list. I hope it's appropriate to ask such a basic question.

Emily Wheeler
Walnut Creek