The Gila woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker of the desert regions of the United States and Mexico. The back and wings of this bird are spotted and barred with a black and white zebra-like pattern. The neck, throat, belly, and head are greyish-tan in color. The male has a small red cap on the top of the head. Females and juveniles are similar, but both lack the red cap of the adult male. White wing patches are prominent in flight. The dark tail has white bars on the central tail feathers.
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and ani...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Oviparous animals are female animals that lay their eggs, with little or no other embryonic development within the mother. This is the reproductive...
Monogamy is a form of relationship in which both the male and the female has only one partner. This pair may cohabitate in an area or territory for...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Gila woodpeckers are found in the southwestern United States and western Mexico. In the U.S., they range through southeastern California, southern Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. They are non'migratory and live year-round in dry forests and low desert scrub typical of the Sonoran Desert. These birds may also be found in moist lowland forests and in cottonwood groves near rivers.
Gila woodpeckers are solitary diurnal birds; they spend much of the day foraging and at night roost in their cavities. They forage on cacti, trees, shrubs, or on the ground. They are even known to hang on human placed hummingbird feeders and sip up the nectar. Gila woodpeckers are very noisy and their voice is a rolling 'churr' sound. They also make a 'yip yip yip' sound and a 'kee-u, kee-u, kee-u' sound. Their drum is long and steady.
Gila woodpeckers are monogamous and pair for life. They breed from April through August and may produce 2-3 broods per season. During this time males are very territorial and will aggressively defend their territory from intruders. Gila woodpeckers build nests in holes made in saguaro cacti or mesquite trees. There, they typically lay 3-4 white eggs, although as many as 6 or 7 have been noted. Both parents incubate the eggs for about 12 to 14 days. The chicks hatch altricial; they are naked and helpless and are fed by both parents. They fledge at 4 weeks of age but usually remain with the parents for some time more.
The main threat to Gila woodpeckers is habitat loss due to the development of the Sonoran Desert; changes in climate also could severely reduce available habitat to these birds.
According to the All About Birds resource the total breeding population size of the Gila woodpecker is 1.5 million birds. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.