Gila Woodpecker

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image: gilawoodpecker.jpg

Common Name: Gila Woodpecker

Scientific Name: Melanerpes uropygialis

Size: 9 inches (24cm)

Habitat: Within the Saguaro cactus forests of the Sonoran Desert.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 3,000,000 mature individuals. Populations are declining. Threatened by human development of Sonoran Desert and by competition for nest sites with European Starlings. Audubon “Threatened” List

Diet: Insects, fruit, seeds, lizards and sometimes other birds' eggs.

Breeding: Three to four white eggs. Nesting takes place in excavated Saguaro Cactus.

Cool Facts: Gila Woodpecker have to build their nests far ahead of nesting season. Once the Saguaro Cactus nest is excavated in takes several months for the pulpy interior to dry and heal.

Male Gilas forage on the trunk and main branches of the Saguaro while female prefer to work on the edges and the diseased portions of the cactus.

Found in Songbird ReMix Woodpeckers

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