Photo © Greg Lasley
In the U.S., this bird is almost exclusively found in Texas. A few spill over into Oklahoma, but the majority occur in Mexico south to Nicaragua. In Texas woodlots that include mesquite, this woodpecker is likely around. Though not a mesquite specialist, they’re found in the drier parts of the state west of the Trinity River where mesquites flourish. The golden “front” that the bird’s name refers to is actually the bird’s forehead — the area between the bill and the crown. Males have a small coin-sized red dot on the crown. This species can be found from the Panhandle to the Rio Grande Valley. I’ve never seen it thicker in numbers than in Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco.
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