Red-headed Woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus


Red-headed Woodpecker
These are my first sharp pictures of what to me is the most beautiful North American
woodpecker, taken on a photography trip to Shawnee State Forest in southeastern
Ohio in April 2015. Three birds of this species were flying around together in the woods
near the park lodge, two adults and a first-cycle immature. I believe the pictures above
and below show two views of the same adult, but I can't be sure they don't show
one of each of them. Males and females of this species are indistinguishable in the field. 


Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-headed Woodpecker
The immature bird of the triad described above. Birds of North America Online says
the brown head of the juvenile
changes to adult crimson during a prolonged preformative
molt that can stretch from September to March,
"but some individuals retain a few
brown feathers on head following molt," which aptly describes this bird, in April.