Thursday, March 26, 2015

White-headed Woodpecker at Wildcat Gulch

In mid-July we spent an afternoon up Wildcat Gulch, a nice quiet little road through the woods north of Grime’s Creek that we first enjoyed hiking back in May. Check out the post about our earlier trip for more details about the location.

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View from Wildcat Gulch, Boise County. July 13, 2014.

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Wildcat Gulch, Boise County. July 13, 2014.

On this trip we mostly just hoping to enjoy some quiet time in the shady woods, but after driving in as far as we wanted and then turning around, there was an odd shape on a burnt tree that caught my eye. A closer look revealed a White-headed Woodpecker! They breed locally, and the Idaho City area is probably the best place in the state to try to find them, but it’s always really nice to happen upon them! Look how well camouflaged they are with the black and white plumage – the black blends in with the charred parts of the tree, and the white blends in with the reflective bits that are catching the sun.

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White-headed Woodpecker at Wildcat Gulch, Boise County. July 13, 2014.

We hung around a while to enjoy the bird, and eventually we started hearing and seeing several more. Eventually we found a family of four of them! They were a bit wary of us though, and try as we might we couldn’t get many great pictures. It was still nice to hang out with them though, and it was a fun challenge to try to keep track of four woodpeckers at once.

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White-headed Woodpeckers at Wildcat Gulch, Boise County. July 6, 2014.

We had a few other fun birds too, like this Dusky Flycatcher, and a Western Bluebird.

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Dusky Flycatcher at Wildcat Gulch, Boise County. July 13, 2014.

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Dusky Flycatcher at Wildcat Gulch, Boise County. July 13, 2014.

It was a fun afternoon, and the birds and scenery made it even better.

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Wildcat Gulch, Boise County. July 13, 2014.

In total, we had 19 species during 2 hours we spent there. Click here to check out our full checklist on eBird.

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