When it comes to woodpeckers, nature has been very generous to the Northwest. Some areas, like the Okanogan region in north-central Washington, host among the highest diversities of woodpecker species anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere. You may spot the diminutive Downy Woodpecker or the imposing Pileated, Black-backed and Three-toed Woodpeckers, the White-headed Woodpecker, maybe even this Williamson's Sapsucker.
Written by Bob Sundstrom
This is BirdNote!
[Pileated Woodpecker trumpeting calls, followed by its loud drumming]
Woodpeckers are fascinating birds. They are virtuosi of percussion and syncopation [Williamson’s Sapsucker drum roll], the unrivalled master carpenters of the bird world [Pileated or other woodpecker excavating], champion trunk-climbers, and high on the list of birds we most enjoy seeing.
And when it comes to woodpeckers, nature has been very generous to the Northwest. Some areas, like the Okanogan region in north-central Washington, host among the highest diversities of woodpecker species anywhere in the Northern Hemisphere [Pileated Woodpecker drumming].
A single square mile of Okanogan forest at around 4,500 feet elevation may be home to as many as nine species of woodpeckers. The nine range from diminutive Downy Woodpeckers to imposing Pileateds. From two kinds of sapsuckers to northern mountain specialists like Black-backed and Three-toed Woodpeckers. Even the scarce White-headed Woodpecker, a western specialty, has a foothold here. [White-headed Woodpecker drumming]
This bountiful array of woodpeckers reflects the wide range of tree species in the Okanogan, including pines, larches, and firs, as well as aspens, maples, and other hardwoods. It all adds up to a woodpecker wonderland. [Pileated Woodpecker trumpeting calls]
The BirdNote team is grateful for BirdNote’s benefactors. Through their goodwill and philanthropy, they are making it possible for people to connect with nature. I’m Frank Corrado.
Bird audio provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Pileated Woodpecker call and drumming and Williamson’s Sapsucker drumming recorded by D.S. Herr. Pileated Woodpecker excavating recorded G.A. Keller. White-headed Woodpecker recorded by W.L. Hershberger.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2010 Tune In to Nature.org September 2010
ID# 092707woodpeckers2KPLU woodpecker-05