DrJim, at the Every Blade of Grass blog, posted an interesting article on the appearance of a Northern Flicker Woodpecker in their yard in northern Colorado. Since we have our share of woodpeckers here in mid-central Arizona, I thought I would post about them. We see mostly Gila Woodpeckers but occasionally see Gilded Flickers too.

Gila Woodpeckers in Mesquite Tree Gilded Flicker and House Finch on the Backyard Feeder Gila Woodpecker on the Saguaro

Images: Woodpeckers - Click on any image to enlarge. Left and right images credit me. Center image credit Damsel

The image at the left shows a Gila Woodpecker couple in/on the mesquite tree directly across the road in front of our house. We have been seeing them having activity there since march or so. The image in the center is of a Gilded Flicker flushing a House Finch off of our backyard feeder. On the right is the male of another Gila Woodpecker couple perched adjacent to their hole in our big saguaro by the garage. We just noticed woodpecker activity in the saguaro over the past month.

One of the most interesting things to us in our retirement home is the desert wildlife. We are in a semi-rural area where these critters abound. Just this morning, we observed a Gambel’s Quail pair and their five or six little offspring on the retention wall behind the RV Drive as we were eating breakfast. Unfortunately, by the time the cameras came out, the birds were elsewhere. Maybe another time.

We haven’t been really good about regular blogging lately, but between the two of us, we get some really good photos of our desert wildlife and I think we might resume putting some of those up from time to time. Plus, it is springtime and Flowers are in bloom. Damsel has a bunch of those that we should share.


  1. drjim said,

    May 27, 2021 @ 21:40:25

    We saw a gigantic tortoise or turtle just ambling down a bike path the day we went up to the alpaca ranch. Caught us both off-guard, so no pix. I’ve only seen rabbits and squirrels (YAWN!) and once in a while we’ll see deer in this part of town, but nothing like when we first moved here were staying in Bellvue, which is pretty rural. We had a bear family living in a wooded area across the road, a badger living in the hill beside the house, and some raccoons and foxes running around, too. Never saw any big cats, but we saw their prints and scat. I **never** went out of the house at night without being armed, and we kept the 12 gauge loaded with 00 buck and slugs by the door “Just In Case”.

  2. CapnBob said,

    May 28, 2021 @ 07:26:50

    Haven’t seen a tortoise yet, even though they exist in our type of habitat. We did see a toad a while back: http://capnbob.us/blog/2012/08/17/a-desert-toad/.

    We also have a 12 ga. loaded with buckshot plus our sidearms handy at all times since we have to take the dogs out at night before hitting the sack. The javelina have been known to go after dogs and they are occasionally nocturnal.

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