<< Previous Next >>

Golden Fronted Woodpecker

Golden Fronted Woodpecker
Photo Information
Copyright: Luis Leal (Luis52) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-01-30
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D700, 80-200 f2.8D ED AF Nikkor+1.5X Kenko
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/4000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-02-02 16:36
Viewed: 4003
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Golden-fronted woodpecker (Melanerpes aurifrons)

The Golden-fronted woodpecker is a medium-sized to large woodpecker, averaging 8 1/2 to 10 1/2 inches. The name comes from a golden stripe across the face and around the back of the neck but there may also be a small patch of yellow, orange or red in the center of their belly. The breast is pale tan to light brown with with black and white “zebra-striping” or checkerboard pattern across the back and wings. Adult males may also have a red cap on their heads. Occasionally a Golden-fronted woodpecker is seen sporting a purple face, but this is due to its fondness for cactus pears, not due to any hybridization or regional color variations.

This woodpecker likes arid and semi-arid climates and is found in the United States southwest and northern Mexico. They are fairly adaptable to a variety of biozones within that territory and even city living, although they are traditionally associated with mesquite scrubland. The golden-fronted woodpecker is a non-migratory species, but wander extensively within the range following the breeding season.

Golden-fronted woodpeckers split their diets between insects and vegetation. Vegetable matter in the form of cactus fruit, acorns, corn and seeds may account for 50% of this type of woodpecker’ s diet. Whether hunting insects or seeds, their foraging habits actually change with the seasons; in the summer they forage primarily in trees and brush, in winter it is much more common for this type of woodpecker to forage on the ground. Observation of these birds suggest that they share some of the food storage habits of the red-headed woodpecker, tucking corn and insects into safe hiding holes for later consumption.

The golden-fronted woodpecker prefers to nest in snags or the trunks of leaf-bearing trees, generally not above 20-25 feet above ground. They will frequently select telephone poles or larger fence poles, nesting near the tops. This type of woodpecker is a an excellent excavator and can complete a nesting hole in less than two weeks. Occasionally they will reuse old nesting sites and may be coaxed into using nesting boxes. The female will lay four to seven eggs and both the male and female will stay with the hatchlings through their full nestling period, approximately a month.


CeltickRanger, sujoybhawal, Alex99, joska, maurydv, Miss_Piggy, flashpoint, siggi, marius-secan, jaycee has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To AnimalExplorer: Teach.Luis52 2 02-03 11:46
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

hello Luis

an excellent and very very beautiful photo of the
Golden-fronted woodpecker on his gracious pose,
fine POV, beautiful light, beautiful eye-contact
and catch-light, great focus sharpness details, TFS


Hola Amigo,
Beautiful capture! You really got close on this one and the clarity is crystal clear. You gonna have to teach me how to use a camera. Well done!

Hi Luis,
Almost innocent expression on her eyes, nice composition with optimum details.

Hi Luis - excellent photo, fantastic sharpness, expressive. TFS

This is a beutiful woodpecker portrait Luis. Really nice focus, details and the great light has brought out is bright colors. You have wonderful clear eye contact with this bird as well.

A truly professional shot Luis! The close in is very much..impressive. Even the eye looks natural. A fine work.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-02-02 21:36]

Hi Luis.
Stunning portrait. Pictured by your photo model does all perfectly to get outstanding result. Pose, glance, make-up (:)) are fantastic as well as details and composition. Bravo. Perfect job.

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2011-02-02 22:38]

Hi Luis,
Splendid portrait of this golden-fronted woodpecker, very good lights and colors, fine details too, TFS!

Hi Luis
Impressive photo of a beautiful bird. The colours are wonderful and the sharpness is perfect.

beautiful and sharp portrait, TFS Ori

Hola Luis,
una splendida cattura di questo picchio dai fantastici colori, straordinaria nitidezza, eccellente punto di ripresa ravvicinato e frontale, bellissima composizione con uno sfondo che stacca perfettamente con colori armonici
Grazie e complimenti
Buona giornata
Ciao Maurizio

Hallo Luis
What a gorgeous bird! The blotches of bright colour in between the grey feathers are just so beautiful to look at and draw emphasise to the rest of the bird's beautiful features such as the dotted patterns on its back. It has a very proud pose and you captured this characteristic beautifully. Thanks for sharing this great image with a pleasant composition. Best regards.

Hello old friend Luis!
Where have you been? I missed your work.... and what a magnificent come back indeed, with this superb portrait here. The Golden-fronted woodpecker can be really proud of this image! Very clean, bright and lovely capture! Very detailed and accurate in terms of colors, as well! No mistakes, in regards of post processing, just pure perfection! Bravo Luis, a great work from you again!
George Veltchev

hello Luis
a super sharpness picture with very good details
great pose with nice light and beautiful colours
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-02-03 8:34]

Hello Luis,
What a perfection! Fantastic portrait in superb sharp details and very beautiful colours. Great blurred BG. The pose with eye contact is gorgeous.

Hello Luis,
Wonderful portrait captured with excellent sharpness, fine details, lovely colours and beautiful pose of the bird. Great POV and blurred BG, too. Well done!

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-02-03 10:47]

Hello Luis,
What a beautiful woodpecker. Wonderful colors and details you managed to capture it very well, great POV and settings.Well done.Best regards Siggi

Hello Luis,
Superb details, very nice colors and excellent capture.
It is a outstanding composition.
Very nice capture.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-02-03 15:30]

Hi Luis,a fantastic portrait and a beautiful macro,what a sharpness,colors and composition! I can count the plums..ehehe..Thanks for share,have a nice day,Luciano.

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2011-02-04 7:01]

Hi Luis,
excellent quality, sharpness, wonderful colors and composition ..
Congratulations, regards

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2011-02-05 9:45]

Hola Primo,

I LOVE this closeup of the beautiful woodpecker - this is the first time I am seeing a Gold-fronted. He is posing perfectly for you allowing us a marvelous view of his face and feathers. The colors and details are excellent and we can certainly see how he got his name. The background and composition are superb. I have only seen one Flicker here this winter and he took off as soon as I spotted him.


Calibration Check