Sunday, 9 September 2007

Grey-headed Woodpecker: adult male ID

The photo here shows an adult male Grey-headed Woodpecker, Buda Hills, Budapest, Hungary (Szabolcs Kókay). Sexual dimorphism in this species is mainly reflected in fore-crown colour, but also in overall brightness and size. The male has a bright red fore-crown. The head, crown, cheeks, nape, neck and shoulders uniform ashy grey. The neck is often a darker grey than the face, the lores and thin malar stripe black and the throat pale grey or dirty white. The chin and throat are whitish. The base of the bill is sometimes black. There is a thin grey supercilium. The mantle, back, scapulars, tertials and upper wing-coverts are all a dull, olive-green. The rump is a brighter green than the rest of the upper-parts, sometimes yellowish, but rarely as obvious yellow as on Green Woodpecker. The under-parts from the throat to the under-tail coverts and vent are plain grey or a dirty white, except for a greenish tinge on the upper breast. The under-parts are essentially unbarred though there may be a few dark flecks or chevrons on the under tail-coverts. The tail is bottle green, darker than the olive-green upper-parts, with plain unbarred outer rectrices. The primaries are charcoal coloured, sometimes with a brownish tinge, with white barring or dots near the tips. The rest of the flight feathers are greenish-brown, discreetly dotted white or yellow.

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