Stalking the Elusive Three-toed Woodpecker

Last weekend Bosque Bill and I drove to the Sandia Mountains in another attempt to see the elusive Three-toed Woodpecker. Our previous attempt had yielded a rainy walk, a few wet warblers, some soggy squirrels, lots of hummingbirds but no Three-toed Woodpeckers.

We drove to the parking lot at the Ellis trailhead. Bosque Bill spotted the Three-toed Woodpecker near the parking lot before I could even get my camera out of the car. The light was far from ideal for photos, but I was able to get some photos that clearly show the identifying marks of this elusive woodpecker.

Three-toed Woodpecker

These woodpeckers flake bark rather than excavating wood, which results in large patches of flaked bark on trees.

Three-toed Woodpecker flaking bark from a fir tree


Three-toed Woodpecker

After taking many photos of the woodpecker we walked up the trail to Kiwanis Cabin. The Sandias, particularly Kiwanis Meadow, were covered in wildflowers. It was a beautiful walk. The views across Albuquerque from Kiwanis Cabin are spectacular!

We had a successful day as we saw not only the Three-toed Woodpecker but also towhees, warblers, flycatchers, hummingbirds, nuthatches, ravens and other birds. It began to rain just as we were finishing our lovely post-birding picnic. It was a wonderful birding day.

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5 Comments

Filed under New Mexico birds

5 responses to “Stalking the Elusive Three-toed Woodpecker

  1. Fabulous capture. Kudos to you and Bill. What fun!

  2. Congratulations on finally catching sight of the Three-toed Woodpecker! Great seeing photos, as I have never viewed one before. Sounds like a lovely day spent with a good friend.

  3. Super post Linda!! Sounds like a wonderful adventure! :)

  4. Congrats on the 3-toed! I just saw my first one this summer here in Idaho. I was not fortunate enough to get any good photos though.

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