Gold-fronted Woodpeckers
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Friday September 2, 2016

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Gold-fronted Woodpeckers

Here's a pair of Gold-fronted Woodpeckers. This was in Dangriga. The mating rituals were just beginning...

This adorable little woodpecker is commonly found throughout Belize year-round and its habitat ranges from Texas, USA to the northern regions of Nicaragua.

Feeding on both insects and fruits, the faces of these woodpecker are often dyed bright colours after feeding on ripe fruit. This happens a lot on the Texas/Mexico boarder where they gorge themselves on ripe prickly pears.

The colour at the nape of the birds neck differs throughout their range (red in the Yucatan region, yellow in Texas, and orange in northern Nicaragua), leading some scientists to classify the birds from different as different species. However, they are more accurately described as 4 subspecies as they often interbreed between neighbouring populations.

Woodpeckers can peck a tree with up to 10x the force that would give a human concussion. Special adaptations like a spongy skull and tongue that encircles the skull and acts like a seatbelt for the brain prevent them from suffering harm that would inevitably incapacitate a human if they tried to peck a tree!

Photograph by Ric Hornsby

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