Rufous-winged woodpecker

Male Rufous-winged woodpecker, courtesy of Rainmaker


Our ranchito is now constructed in the garden and so I gave it a test run by eating lunch out there, keeping the binoculars conveniently nearby.  The noise from the níspero behind me came from two woodpeckers, a male feeding a juvenile.  Since this was the first week with a woodpecker of any kind, I levelled the binoculars to confirm the Golden-olive woodpecker (Piculus rubiginosus) that had been in the same location two days previously.  But no.  It was the Rufous-woodpecker (Piculus simplex), supposedly at least 300 m above its usual range, according to the bird guides.  Also, it is said to prefer to feed fairly high up, but these two were barely two meters above ground level on the trunk of the níspero.  This is not only a new confirmed species for the house, but is also yet another life bird for me.  Oh happy day.  It’s also a species that’s endemic from eastern Honduras to western Panama.

Well, now of course, I have to ask myself if all those Golden-olive sightings in the past really were Golden-olives.  I do know that I had sometimes not confirmed the light cheeks of that species, and so maybe the Rufous-winged occurs more frequently here than I thought.  At all events, the views I got this time were excellent, allowing me to confirm that it was a red-moustachioed male that was doing the feeding.  I’m also pretty sure now that the single bird that was here two days previously must have been this species.

The following are the woodpecker and woodcreeper species confirmed so far here in San Antonio, in approximate order of frequency of occurrence:  1. Hoffmann’s woodpecker 2. Golden-olive woodpecker 3. Black-cheeked woodpecker 4. Streak-headed woodcreeper 5. Yellow-bellied sapsucker

In view of my experiences with woodcreepers down at CATIE, I’d like to get more looks at my woodcreeper to be absolutely sure, but it hasn’t shown up now for quite a while.  In my first year here, it seemed quite common.

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