Common Name: Gila Woodpecker
Scientific Name: Melanerpes uropygialis
Description: 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.
Distribution: The gila woodpecker is found almost exclusively in Arizona and Mexico, however their range does extend to the far southern tip of Nevada. So if you want to spot one, head far south, such as the Big Bend of the Colorado State Recreation Area.
Habitat: This woodpecker’s habitat consists of low desert scrub typical of the Sonoran Desert, as well as arroyos (washes) and small towns.