USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Gila Woodpecker -- Melanerpes uropygialis

RANGE: Resident from southeastern California, extreme southern Nevada, central Arizona, and southwestern New Mexico south through Baja California and western Mexico to Jalisco.

STATUS: Locally common.

HABITAT: Inhabits desert mesas in association with creosotebush, mesquite, and saguaro and organ-pipe cactus. Also occurs in riparian areas and in foothill canyons among cottonwoods, willows, and sycamores.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Suitable nest sites in the Sonoran Desert such as cottonwoods, mesquites, and saguaros.

NEST: Excavates holes mainly in saguaro but uses cottonwoods, willows, and mesquites at higher elevations and in riparian habitat.

FOOD: Mainly eats insects; also eats fruits and nuts, and occasionally preys on nestling birds and eggs.

REFERENCES: Bent 1939, Phillips et al. 1964, Terres 1980.

Previous Section -- Family Picidae
Return to Family List
Return to Contents

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Friday, 01-Feb-2013 19:25:51 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww54]