Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2004-

Common name:

Red-headed Woodpecker

Scientific name: Melanerpes erythrocephalus
Date: 12-27-04
Time: 2:00 pm
Length of time observed: 45 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: n/a
Location: Wilson's Peach and Pecan Farm near Hurricane, UT
County: Washington
Latilong: n/a
Elevation: 3,500 ft +/-
Distance to bird: 10 - 50 feet
Optical equipment: 10x 42 Nikon Monarch Binoculars and Canon Digital Rebel w/ 300mm lens
Weather: overcast with a little sun
Light Conditions: normal early afternoon light
Detailed description of bird: A woodpecker about the same size as a Sapsucker, with a completely red head, black back, white wing patches, and a black tail. The bird is unmistakable, and was identified as soon as it was seen. Bird was originally located by MERRILL WEBB during the morning CBC, and notified us of the location.  (see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: n/a
Behavior: Flew between trees swooping below the branches, going back and forth feeding on the trees. On several occasion the bird came to sit
on a power pole watching us.
Habitat: A Pecan and Peach Orchard
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Acorn Woodpecker - no red head
Lewis's Woodpecker - too dull, with no white wing patches
Red-breasted Sapsucker - not a complete red head, and the back is speckled
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
none, this was my first sighting
References consulted: Sibley Guide to North American Birds
Description from: From memory
Observer: Tim Avery
Observer's address: 1754 Garfield Avenue, Salt Lake City, UT 84108
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Colby Neuman, Glen Barlow, and Merrill Webb who found the bird
Date prepared: 12-27-04   (General Public)
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: