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Photo © Larry Ditto

Ladder-backed woodpecker

The ladder-backed woodpecker is restricted to the drier woods found in the western two-thirds of Texas and in the desert Southwest of the U.S. Sometimes, wide-enough trees for cavity placement are lacking so this species resorts to using telephone poles and fence posts more than other woodpeckers. Several of our woodpeckers have alternating bands of black and white on their backs, giving each a “laddered” appearance, so that’s not the best field mark. The male has a red ball cap atop its head, while his mate’s is black.


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