Red-headed Woodpecker in Abilene, TX

Big Country birding has been soooooo quiet this past week, even a little dead except for the occasional hummingbird fight at the feeders. A few warblers are passing through, mainly Yellow, a few Wilson’s and now a Nashville or two. But on this morning’s field trip to Oakwood Trails, our group spotted this dark-headed woodpecker:


It’s a Red-headed Woodpecker…hatch-year bird of course. If you look closely you’ll see a smattering of red feathers starting to appear on it’s face, especially around the eye. It has another red feather on the breast. By the time this bird grows up, it’ll have a totally red head and neck and live up to its name, Red-headed Woodpecker.


The last time we spotted a Red-headed Woodpecker inside Abilene was over twenty years ago. Wouldn’t it be nice if it hung around long enough for us to see it molt into adulthood? If you are interested in seeing this woodpecker, drop us a note and we’ll send you more specific directions.


Lorie took this photo, highlighting the red spots.

4 responses to “Red-headed Woodpecker in Abilene, TX”

  1. Great photos, Laura – you’re a patient photographer! From a distance I really didn’t appreciate him, but now I do. I do hope we will get to see him mature. Thanks, Edna

  2. Hi Laura, Great pic…we had one about 20 years ago at the ranch…a wonderful, mature male. None since that we have recorded. Peggy

  3. Can some one tell me if a big red headed wood pecker is rare? I’m in al and recently I’v seen one almost as big as a crow – very pretty. He comes to pecan and magnolia trees in our yard. He makes a cherp that is unique – high pitched, short and several in a burst. ??????