Topics

Id request


bob.sidebotham@...
 

I've been noticing these birds in Three Bridges park in Atascadero, over the last couple of weeks. Last seen Monday 8/31/2020 at about 10:00 am about midway up the right branch of the loop trail Generally perched on oak branches or in flight. These are, I think, smaller than a jay, perhaps the size of a juvenile scrub jay. They look black overall, but have a white area around the eyes, black collar as seen from the front, and white underbelly. Each wing has a single large white area, clearly defined (but most visible in flight) as do the tail feathers. The tail is split at the end. Some of the birds, presumably males, have brilliant red coloration at the top of the head, towards the rear. The red is only visible when the bird is sitting on a branch when it tilts its head down, or from the rear, in flight. The birds are extremely raucous and appear to be quite social.

These seem to me to have all the described characteristics of a magpie, except for the red at the rear of the head. In fact, I originally assumed they were magpies, until I noticed the red coloration yesterday.

Can someone tell me what this bird is?

Thanks,
Bob Sidebotham, Paso Robles


bob.sidebotham@...
 

Thanks everyone for your responses.

It's most likely an Acorn Woodpecker.

I had thought mine had a pure white underbelly, but that could, in retrospect,  have been due to the bright sunlight and the distance.

I've also not seen them acting like I think a woodpecker acts. But that's probably just an observational bias of some sort: in fact I have seen woodpeckers in the area, but did not make the likely connection to these birds.

As you can probably tell, I am rather inexperienced :-).

Bob

On Tue, Sep 1, 2020, 10:03 AM <bob.sidebotham@...> wrote:
I've been noticing these birds in Three Bridges park in Atascadero, over the last couple of weeks. Last seen Monday 8/31/2020 at about 10:00 am about midway up the right branch of the loop trail Generally perched on oak branches or in flight. These are, I think, smaller than a jay, perhaps the size of a juvenile scrub jay. They look black overall, but have a white area around the eyes, black collar as seen from the front, and white underbelly. Each wing has a single large white area, clearly defined (but most visible in flight) as do the tail feathers. The tail is split at the end. Some of the birds, presumably males, have brilliant red coloration at the top of the head, towards the rear. The red is only visible when the bird is sitting on a branch when it tilts its head down, or from the rear, in flight. The birds are extremely raucous and appear to be quite social.

These seem to me to have all the described characteristics of a magpie, except for the red at the rear of the head. In fact, I originally assumed they were magpies, until I noticed the red coloration yesterday.

Can someone tell me what this bird is?

Thanks,
Bob Sidebotham, Paso Robles