Backyard Bird Nerd | Consider the birds of the air…. | Page 68

Bird with white Chest

Phoebe Bird / September 2, 2017

Woodpeckers are plentiful in the San Fernando Valley - indeed all over Los Angeles County and the Southland. The most common Woodpecker seen in backyards is the Nuttall's (NUWO). This lively little bird can be seen looking for bugs in all kinds of trees, making loud noises on telephone poles and crossing yards with its typical Woodpecker flight pattern of flap-flap-flap-coast-coast-flap-flap-flap-coast-coast. The giveaway for the NUWO is the white striping across the back. The female lacks the red head, or perhaps shows a little red at the back of the neck.

Less likely to be seen in a backyard, but not impossible, are two very similar Woodpeckers, the Downy (DOWO) and the Hairy (HAWO). The giveaway here is the black back with a white patch - no striping. The Downy slightly smaller and has a shorter beak and there are a few other, subtler differences. If either is spotted in a backyard, it can be quite satisfying to say, "That was either a Downy or a Hairy."