gila woodpecker 2 low res

gila woodpecker sc low res

Gila Woodpeckers are grayish brown birds with brilliant black-and-white barring on the wings, back, and tail. Males have a red patch in the center of the crown.They spend much of the day foraging in taller desert vegetation  (saguaro cactus and cordons). They catch insects by pecking, gleaning, and probing, focusing on larger branches and trunks. In the morning and late afternoon they perch in conspicuous places, call frequently, and make short flights around their territories, often driving out other woodpeckers. The holes you see in saguaro and cordon cacti are probably the nests of the Gila Woodpeckers. Abandoned nests are used by other birds including Elf Owls, Pygmy-Owls, flycatchers, Cactus Wrens.