Nuttall's Woodpecker, Picoides nuttallii
Nuttall's is the most common woodpecker in Silicon Valley where I live, and we often see them in our yard. They are the west coast cousin to the quite similar Ladder-backed Woodpecker of the southwest. Adult males, above, have the red patch at the rear of the crown, while adult females, below, have no red in their plumage.
A male Nuttall's excavating a new nest, like the one shown in use below.
The picture above shows a female feeding a nestling; juveniles of both sexes have
patches forward on the crown made up of red stripes with some black and white
Here the male parent at the same nest feeds a different nestling, with a smaller
striped patch less far forward on the crown compared to the nestling shown
further above. This pattern is typical of juvenile females. Adult females have
no red plumage.
Here the adult male feeds an earwig to a nestling, clearly illustrating the difference
between the red patches of adult males and juveniles. This juvenile may be the
same young bird shown being fed at this nest by an adult female in the picture
This bird, a lone visitor at our back yard fountain, is shown to be a juvenile by its forward red stripes.
A male leaving an active nest carrying debris -- wood chips left over from the excavation of the nest, and a fecal sac from a nestling.
An adult male Nuttall's feeding on Chinese pistache berries in the fall.