Six photos from the Red-bellied Woodpecker family album

2/6/2017 | 0

Red-bellied Woodpecker is one of six woodpeckers in the family Melanerpes.

Red-bellied Woodpecker is one of six North American members of the genus Melanerpes.

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.

See more photos of Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Acorn Woodpecker_660x440

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.

See photos of Acorn Woodpecker.

Golden-fronted Woodpecker_440x660

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.

Pictures of Golden-fronted Woodpecker.

Red-headed Woodpecker_440x660

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.

Pictures of Red-headed Woodpecker.

Gila Woodpecker_660x440

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.

Reader photos of Gila Woodpecker.


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.

See additional photographs of Lewis’s Woodpecker.

Lewis’s Woodpecker wins habitat protection in Oregon.

Why woodpeckers can hammer without getting headaches.


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