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White-Headed Woodpecker

Dryobates albolarvatus

Not much of a traveler, the White-Headed Woodpecker lives in the West Coast mountain areas dominated by mixed conifers and stays year-round. It is a strategy that seems to work for them. Studies show that their population is stable in most of its range. They may be found from southern British Columbia into Southern California.

Until recently, the genus of this bird was Picoides, but DNA studies in 2015 revised most of this genus to Leuconotopicus or Dryobates.

Unlike many of their woodpecker cousins, these birds don’t drill deep holes in search of food. Rather, they gently lift bark flakes from the trees in their territory to look for insect prey or they peck at cones to feed on seeds.

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