- 9.4 in
- 16.1 in
- 1.8–2.8 oz
- Pic des saguaros (French)
- Carpintero de Gila, Carpintero del desierto (Spanish)
- When a pair of Gila Woodpeckers excavates a nest hole in a saguaro cactus, it typically does not use it for several months. Drying time is required for the inner pulp of the cactus to form a solid casing around the cavity.
- The male Gila Woodpecker forages mainly on the trunk and main branches of saguaro cacti, while the female concentrates on the periphery and diseased areas.
Found in deserts that have large cacti or trees suitable for nesting (especially saguaro cactus), dry subtropical forests, riparian woodlands, and residential areas.
Insects, fruit, seeds, occasional birds' eggs, and lizards.
- Clutch Size
- 2–7 eggs
- Egg Description
- Condition at Hatching
- Naked and helpless.
Hole in saguaro cactus or tree. Cavity unlined.
Gleans insects from bark, probes into holes and dead wood, takes food from ground.
Populations may be slightly declining. Threatened by human development of Sonoran Desert and by competition for nest sites with European Starlings.
- Edwards, H. H., and G. D. Schnell. 2000. Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis). In The Birds of North America, No. 532 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.