Friday, 14 September 2007
White-backed Woodpecker: juvenile lilfordi race ID
As is the case with the nominate leucotos, juveniles of the lilfordi race are not as glossy as adults, indeed they are sometimes rather brownish. Again, as with the nominate leucotos, they are sexually dimorphic from an early age, even when in the nest. White areas are dirtier, buffier than on adults. The pink under-tail and ventral region is smaller and paler than on adults and they are very heavily streaked on the body. Both sexes have red crowns (to varying extents) but this red is never as strong as on adults, being sometimes rather orange, edged with black and sometimes flecked with grey-black feather tips. Juvenile male lilfordi has a complete red crown that may extend to the black nape and sideways to the white cheeks. Males are longer billed and legged than sibling females but this only noticeable in the hand. Juvenile female lilfordi usually lack red on the crown. If any is present, then it is only on the fore-crown to central crown. There is always less red than on juvenile males. Sometimes just a few red tips to the black feathers can be seen. This photo is of a juvenile female lilfordi, in the Abruzzi Mountains, central Italy (Paul Harris).