When you see a White-headed Woodpecker, check for bands on its legsGeneral ·
It’s that time of year again when we start getting out to go birding in areas we couldn’t get to in the winter. I want to remind everyone that we are still in the process of color-banding White-headed Woodpeckers in the Wenas in areas of the Ellensburg Pass Road, Mud Flats Road, Wenas Campground and Hog Ranch Road, Milk Canyon, Rocky Prairie and Cow Canyon.
Since 2011 we have banded over 95 different White-headed Woodpeckers with unique combinations of colored plastic leg bands. We are trying to determine duration of territory occupancy as well as locating birds banded as hatch-year birds.
There are 2 colored bands on one leg, and 1 colored band and 1 numbered aluminum band on the other leg.
If you see any White-headed Woodpeckers when in the Wenas, please take an extra few minutes to look for colored bands on their legs. If you see bands, please report them right leg first then left leg (the birds right and left, not your right and left). When reporting the right leg, report the upper band (closest to the body) first, then the lower band (closest to the foot), then followed in the same pattern for the left leg. So, a bird that is X Y Y W, would be X (aluminum band) Upper Right, Yellow Lower Right, Yellow Upper Left, and White Lower Left. For the banded bird in the accompanying photo, that bird would be reported as Bl G X W. Colors that we use are Red (R), Pink (P), Orange (O), Green (G), Light Green (Lg), White (W), Yellow (Y), and Blue (Bl).
Please report the sex of the bird (males have the red patch on the back of the head, females do not) and description of the location as detailed as possible, preferably with a GPS. You can report them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you report it in ebird, please be sure to report the bands in the comment section and if you looked and didn’t see any, and were sure there were none, report that as well. So, anytime you are any- where in the Wenas and see a White-headed Woodpecker, please look for bands. Thank you!
— Jeff Kozma