Albino Gila Woodpecker, Again

For months, I’ve had a female albino woodpecker hanging out in my yard, draining the hummingbird feeder, drilling holes in a tall stump. She successfully drilled a nest hole, but a starling moved in.

I’ve taken photos of her, but without a close-up lens, you couldn’t distinguish the bird from the tree trunk. The bird is not white, as most albino mammals are, but it is very pale, with very pale markings. Here is Tom Pawlesh’s image of a regular female.

Bo Mackison, the nature photographer, was passing through Phoenix, and caught the female on the palm trunk. At last, a really good photograph by a professional.

Gila Woodpecker, (c) Bo Mackison

Gila Woodpecker, (c) Bo Mackison

Quinn McDonald is a writer and creativity coach. She also teaches people who can’t draw hot to keep an art journal.

5 thoughts on “Albino Gila Woodpecker, Again

  1. Wow! I have a beautiful Albino Woodpecker coming to my bird feed along with her normal mate….I have seen them for the past few days! Awesome!

  2. OMG, that is EXACTLY what I saw this morning, I just looked up albino woodpeckers to see if there was such a thing,!

    • This one may be leucistic, not albino. In leucism, the pigment looks faded and the eyes are not pink. This birds legs, feet and eyes are normal colors, but the rest looks like it got washed too often in hot water–sort of bleached out and faded. Mine lives North of Phoenix.

  3. That woodpeckers drilled holes is well-known, of course, but that they could create holes big enough to serve as a nests (for themselves or thieving starlings), amazes me thoroughly.

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