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White-headed Woodpeckers, those great prizes of coastal range birding, can be tricky to find in autumn, when they are rather quiet. In fall and winter, they eat mostly pine seeds, quietly hammering into cones to reach them. Unlike other woodpeckers, they do not store seeds but eat them immediately. White-headeds also do not forage by excavating into wood but flake off bark and probe into crevices and needle clusters for insect prey. (Photo by participant Pete Peterman.)
Nowhere very common, Black-backed Woodpecker is often found in burned areas, where it eats larvae of wood-boring beetles. Like its relative, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Black-backed has three toes instead of four, with two toes set forward, one to the rear. This female obliged the group nicely! (Photo by participant Pete Peterman.)
We couldn't resist adding this image of guide Cory Gregory hard at work, listening for the next great bird! (Photo by participant Charm Peterman.)