American Three Toed Woodpecker: Picoides dorsalis

While out on a hike we followed the sound of a woodpecker pecking in the forest fully expecting to find a Downy Head or Hairy. When we finally spotted the source of the pecking we were thrilled to find an American Three Toed Wooedepcker: Picoides dorsalis working away looking for a meal. Why this species evolved to have only three toes instead of the typical four seems to be a matter for debate however the Cornell Lab of Ornithology suggest that three toes may help deliver stronger blows with the beak while foraging.

2 thoughts on “American Three Toed Woodpecker: Picoides dorsalis

  1. Oh wow, this is a super treat. As a birder for 30+ years, this species is still not on my lifer list. This photo is spectacular, Mike, you even captured the three toes. Fantastic, thank you.


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