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White-headed woodpecker (Dendrocopus albolarvatus)

White-headed Woodpecker

The white-headed woodpecker (Dendrocopus albolarvatus) is a common sight in the Northern Sierra, perching in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and white fir (Abies concolor). The only tree it will avoid is the lodgepole pine (Pinus murrayana), for reasons not known. It nests in the stubbed trunks of dead trees, laying up to a half dozen eggs, and pecking out a cavity inside the tree. Both adults find food for the young. Full-grown, the bird is less than the size of a robin, with black feathers on its body and a white head. When it is flying, a white patch can be seen on its wing.

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