STATUS: Endangered without critical habitat.|
DESCRIPTION: Gila woodpecker has zebra-striped back and a plain, grayish tan head and breast. A small, round, red cap, crown the head of the amle. Conspicuous white patches near the tips of the wings can be seen when the bird is in flight. It reaches about 23 cm in length.
HABITAT: They live in California riparian woodlands, cottonwood groves, and parklands and residential neighborhoods that have tall trees year round.
Present: Gila wookpecker is common in cactus woodlands in much of the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. Along the Colorado River, the bird now occurs in the few section so fnative reiparian habitat remaining, nad at adjacent parks, resorts, and residential areas. A few pairs occur in in Imperial County, nesting in or near Brawley.
THREATS AND/OR REASONS FOR DECLINE: Competition with European starling; few healthy native woodlands reamin forcing birds into less than ideal habitats.
Historic: Was common in willow and cottonwood forests along the lower Colorado River, from just north of Needles in San Bernardino County to the U.S>-Mexican border. The was also common in the area from the souern border of the Salton Sea to Mexico.
OTHER INFORMATION: The woodpecker's dies consists of insects and mistletoe berries in the winter. They make their homes in dead tree limbs and trunks. Females laly 3-5 eggs which hatch in April. The young can fly in about a montha nd in optimal conditions a second brood fledges by late June.
Life on the Edge. Biosystems Books 1994. Santa Cruz, California