They build nests in holes made in saguaro cacti or mesquite trees. It also drums, and taps loudly on metal objects as a territorial call. The back and wings of this bird are spotted and barred with a black and white zebra-like pattern. Its drum is long and steady. An extensive multimedia section displays the latest photos, videos and audio selections from the Macaulay Library. It feeds on insects, fruit and berries, and has been known to eat bird eggs. Each species account is written by leading ornithologists and provides detailed information on bird distribution, migration, habitat, diet, sounds, behavior, breeding, current population status, and conservation. A brash, noisy woodpecker of desert regions. VOICE: SOUNDS BY XENO-CANTO Gila Woodpecker’s calls include a rolling “churr”, and a loud and high pitched “yip” given in series. The neck, throat, belly, and head are greyish-tan in color. They call to each other constantly — a loud call that sounds to my ears like “ack-ack-ack! Common and conspicuous in stands of saguaro, or giant cactus, it also lives in the trees along desert rivers, and is quick to move into towns and suburbs. Test with Sony Nex 3n and Vivitar Series 1, 100mm-500mm l3nw. This woodpecker's habitat consists of low desert scrub typical of the Sonoran Desert. This woodpecker's voice is a rolling churr sound. The Gila woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker of the desert regions of the United States and Mexico. The male has a small red cap on the top of the head. (Browse This woodpecker adjusts readily to humans and is common in desert cities and suburbs. Melanerpes uropygialis . This bird is extremely common. The Gila Woodpecker is a species that symbolizes our desert as much as any species does. Breeding in Middle America, North America: sw USA, Baja California, w Mexico; can be seen in 2 countries. A desert species, the Gila Woodpecker makes nest holes in Saguaro cactus, riparian trees and buildings. Distribution & habitat. Gila Woodpecker. 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