Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Acorn Woodpecker at Kit Carson Park

The best part of our job as property managers is that we live where we work. The worst part of our job as property managers is that we live where we work. We have no commute from work to home. But if we're not careful, we could end up working on our days off. So we always try to do something away from home on our weekends.

In April, Marlene and I just got away for an hour at nearby Kit Carson Park. Marlene sat on a bench by the lake, reading a book. Rather than my usual hike, I photographed the woodpeckers immediately nearby. I obtained two decent images.

Acorn Woodpecker
Acorn Woodpecker. Escondido, California. April 22, 2018.
Acorn Woodpecker

Males and females are told apart by the forehead coloring. The top photo shows a female with a black band between the white forehead and red crown. The male immediately above has a full red crown connecting to the white forehead.

Notice that the all the feathers of the wing on the top photo are brownish rather than black as the back? That indicates that this bird is one year old. All the flight feathers are the same age, worn and faded.

Older birds molt flight feathers a few at a time, usually throughout the autumn in the northern hemisphere. That way they always have enough feathers to fly. Thus there will be new shiny black feathers amid older browner feathers, as seems to be the case with the lower bird.