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I had never before seen a juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker when one did come by the yard on July 21, 2011.  At first, I thought I was seeing things.  Honestly!  The juvenile Red-headed Woodpecker has a body similar to the adult but a bit lighter with a few lighter spots.  The big difference between the juvenile and adult, is that the juvenile has a dark brown, nearly black head.  The head of a Red-headed Woodpecker does not turn that crimson red color until the Winter of the first year of its life.  So, yes, this individual was a very young juvenile born earlier this Summer.  I have also included three pictures of an adult Red-headed Woodpecker.  All three of these pictures are of the same adult.  I believe that this adult is one of the parents to that juvenile.  I took the  pictures of the juvenile on July 21, 2011 and the pictures of the adult on July 22, 2011 from my deck.  Please excuse how poor the pictures are of that juvenile.  It was raining and the light was quite dim when I was taking the pictures.  I also am once again having some slight problems with my long lens while it is on the auto-focus setting, and that may have affected the quality of the shots.  By they way,  I do apologize for my late responses to yesterdays comments.  The fact that I had not replied just slipped by my mind at the time and I just now wrote my replies.  I will promise to do better.  I highly appreciate your nice words here.  Please click on the thumbnail image to see the larger picture.  Enjoy!


Comments on: "A Juvenile and Adult Red-headed Woodpecker" (14)

  1. wow! didn’t know about the brown head on the youngsters. but the adults are just so gorgeously dapper!

    • Hi Texwisgirl, Yes, the Red-headed Woodpecker adults are neat looking with black, white, and crimson or scarlet coloring. Have a fantastic Saturday all day long!

  2. Hi, Just emailed you a couple of up-close pictures of a Juvie Red-head… They are so adorable… I haven’t seen them here recently –but we had them last year.


  3. Good grief, what a clever identification you made!! i probably would have assumed it was a different type of bird. I had no idea that they don’t get the red heads till later!

    • Hi Texwisgirl, Hi Ginny, Yes, I took a second look and also did a bit of Internet research to confirm that yes, it really is a Red-headed Woodpecker. Our friend Betsy was also quite nice in that she sent me two pictures of other juvenile Red-heads that look a lot like this one that was in my yard. Have a super afternoon and evening and stay cool!

  4. Excellent observations and very nice comparison shots!

  5. Hi, I am so envious of your redhead woodie. They are not in my area and I just love seeing them. I enjoyed your photos of these pretty woodies.

  6. recently saw a bird with head shape, head and neck color dark red with no markings , plumage configuration /pattern, with dark grey nearly black (not as black as some photos haves seen of redheaded woodpeckers but not too far off) with no white on wings. I saw it from the back , with its back directly toward me long enough to review looke with and without binoculars and review several pages of peckers and sap suckers x2 with none fitting exactly. ; I never saw the belly side, or beak, as it moved qickly around the back of the tree, it flew short distances x2 without fully opening wings, then was out of site behind tree trunks when it flew away. I never saw any white markings as you would expect on wings,
    it had no markings visible from back at head, neck, wings, body etc….
    have you seen a variation or red headed wood pecker without the white markings on its wings?, or do know of any other option
    saw 2 downy’s or hairy’s, and one red belly, shortly before,
    have seen a pilated years ago, reviewed photos and a modely of piilated -which was too large and diff head shape flatter as opposed to round head on bird I saw; and no white markings anywhere from behind
    I am not a skilled idenifier, but a trained observer (my occupational training), I am not trained nor have I studied, but have fed/ observed/ and tried to ID on off thru years, hike a lot and often alone thus see more wild life than with a group
    thanks for considering this information

    • Hi Linda, I am a retired elementary school teacher and not a biologist or ornithologist bird specialist. My own opinion is that the bird you are discussing is possibly a Red-headed Woodpecker. Some don’t have a lot of white showing. Thanks for your comment and I hope I have helped. Have a wonderful weekend!

      • Linda/ nanabirdwatcher said:

        thanks for your reply, appreciate your reflection,

        the only missing piece was — there was no white from back anywhere
        I am curious if there could be a variety without white, or perhaps some abnormality
        curious and learning

      • Hi again Linda, I just thought of something else – could be that the bird had been in molt and had lost white feathers before the red or the red had grown back faster. Who knows? No, I am not aware of other woodpeckers with the total red on the head and neck – even Red-bellied has a lot of white on its head. Have an excellent day tomorrow!

      • Linda/ nanabirdwatcher said:

        thanks again

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