I’m sure every birder in the eastern two-thirds of the United States recognizes the bird above. It’s a male Red-bellied Woodpecker. Michael Rossacci photographed it near Horn Pond, in Woburn, Massachusetts, with a tripod-mounted Canon 5D Mark 3 camera, a 300mm lens, and a 1.4x teleconverter.
It’s one of six woodpeckers in the genus Melanerpes that you can find in North America. We’ve assembled photos of the other five — Acorn, Golden-fronted, Red-headed, Gila, and Lewis’s — into the gallery below.
The bird above is a male Acorn Woodpecker, a resident of far western states and the desert Southwest. captbub photographed it early in 2015 as it tended to acorns stored in a granary at Oak Hill Memorial Park, in Escondido, California. He used a Nikon P-510 camera.
Lora Render says she took this remarkable photo of Golden-fronted Woodpecker, a Texas specialty, in her backyard in San Antonio. The woodpecker was just about to snatch some suet. Lora used a Canon 7D camera with a 100-400mm lens.
Hans Spiecker (spiecks) photographed the Red-headed Woodpecker above at Fort Sheridan Woods, north of Chicago. Populations of this charismatic species have declined sharply recently, but an encouraging article in our forthcoming March-April 2017 issue suggests all may not be lost. It tells the story of citizen-scientists in Minnesota who are working to bring the woodpecker back — and succeeding. The issue goes on sale at Barnes & Noble and other newsstands February 28.
The woodpecker above, Gila Woodpecker, is another specialty of the extreme Southwest. Deborah Carter found it in Sedona, Arizona, in December 2015. She took the picture with a Canon 5D mark III camera with a 70-200mm lens and a 2x converter.
The final member of the Melanerpes genus is the bird above — Lewis’s Woodpecker. Gary Botello took the photo in September 2012 at Picture Canyon, in Flagstaff, Arizona, with a Canon EOS 60D camera and a Sigma 150-500mm lens.
More woodpecker galleries
Check back next week for another gallery of reader photos of Nuttall’s, Ladder-backed, Arizona, White-headed, and other woodpeckers of the genus Picoides.
And check back the following week for a gallery showing Williamson’s, Red-breasted, Red-naped, and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (the genus Sphyrapicus). Don’t miss it.
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