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Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Photo Information
Copyright: Billy C Banks (K9madtex) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 122 W: 67 N: 278] (1022)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-02-08
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 5D, Canon 70 - 200 f2.8L IS USM, Canon 72mm UV Haze
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-02-18 7:37
Viewed: 4789
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I believe this may be a first on TN. A quick search brought up lots of hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, but no Ladder-backs. I got this at San Angelo SP. She was several yards away and there were a few limbs between us. Most were so out of focus you could see right through them. There is one place across her back I was not able to clone out the OOF limb. There was a female and male in the area. This is the female. The only difference appears to be a small red spot on the male's head.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

(Picoides scalaris)

Range and habitat
The Ladder-backed Woodpecker is fairly common in dry brushy areas and thickets and has a rather large range. The species can be found year-round over the southwestern United States (north to extreme southern Nevada and extreme southeastern Colorado), most of Mexico, and locally in Central America as far south as Nicaragua.

The Ladder-backed Woodpecker is a small woodpecker about 16.5 to 19 cm (6 to 7 inches) in length. It is primarily colored black and white, with a barred pattern on its back and wings resembling the rungs of a ladder. Its rump is speckled with black, as are its cream-colored under parts on the breast and flanks. Southern populations have duskier buff breasts and distinctly smaller bills. Adult males have a red crown patch that is smaller in immatures and lacking in adult females. The Ladder-backed Woodpecker is very similar in appearance to Nuttall's Woodpecker, but has much less black on its head and upper back, and the range of the two species only intersects a minimal amount in southern California and northern Baja California. Hybrids are known. Ladder-backed Woodpeckers nest in cavities excavated from tree trunks, or in more arid environments a large cactus will do. The female lays between 2 and 7 eggs, which are plain white. The eggs are incubated by both sexes, but the nesting period and other details are unknown. Like most other woodpeckers the Ladder-backed Woodpecker bores into tree-trunks with its chisel-like bill to hunt for insects and their larva, but it also feeds on fruit produced by cacti.


eqshannon, jaycee, uleko, Argus, nglen, Luis52, Adanac, timonejoon, JPlumb, rcrick, Alex99, angybone has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To angybone: Where you been?K9madtex 2 03-01 05:10
To Adanac: In the dog houseK9madtex 1 02-18 20:19
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2008-02-18 7:44]

Hello Billy,
What a special pose you have with this shot.
Very special I like it.

Sometimes ya' gotta give me a good rib kick. I forget who is all here and can easily miss a good image such as this one Billy. Great angle...Are you sure your not G2? Prolly not called that in AF...ah well..no rifle needed for this picture...and answer in reply to your statement, yes...I always had my rifle with me...

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-02-18 8:04]

Hello Billy,
Great capture of this Ladderback in a fine pose on the bending branch. I wonder what he's after - buds? Very well-timed and the light is beautiful. Great sharpness and fine colours too against a lovely blue sky.
Many thanks, Ulla

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-02-18 8:06]

Hi Billy,

What a great pose!! I love acrobatic shots of birds. The black and white look great against the blue sky. Congratulations on posting the first Ladder-backed.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-02-18 8:26]

Hello Billy,
You could be right: I haven't seen the Ladder-backed woodpecker on TN before. This is a great capture at the end of a twig and superbly composed against a blue sky and the light management is superb tothe sharp details of the plumage are well seen.
Thanks for sharing this fine contribution to TN!

Hello Billy
This is a very agile woodpecker considering the size...You have got really sharp details and congratulations for sharing what seems to be a new Bird to the Site.
Best regards

Hello Billy,
Fantastic pose of the Woodpecker well captured by you!
the exposure and focus is spot with perfect sharpness, beautiful colouration and so much details in it
great job well done

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-02-18 11:09]

Hi Billy . This was a very good find and you captured a nice pose with the bird hanging onto the end of the small twig. you have fine detail and natual colours. well done TFS,

  • Great 
  • kjpweb Gold Star Critiquer [C: 326 W: 86 N: 1084] (4788)
  • [2008-02-18 15:59]

Pretty cool capture! Well done, shot in an interesting pose with great detail! Good job! Cheers, Klaus

Hi Billy

Are you realy a man of war? coool. I was looking at your galery, you have a great galery hear. I envy you. and this shot: It is a nice shot with well framed. I bet it must be hard to get correct exposure which u did it well. the way woodi sticking is funny and intresting.
well done

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-02-19 0:53]

Hi Billy,
very nice indeed, you've managed a very good composition and sharp focus, looks excellent contrasted against the deep blue sky...well done on a TN first too, great work.

Nice catch Billy, and an interesting pose you got her in too. You have excellent sharp detail on this one, and the background with that great blue sky complements your bird. Nicely done.

Thanks, John

Hi Billy,
She should take this as a hint and lose some weight, sorry I had to. Great image Billy, showing us this very acrobatic species, thanks.


  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2008-02-19 7:04]

Hola Billy.
Excellent and fine photo of this New spice of woodpeacker. Great sharpnes, and colors. Your note is very interesting for me to learn more about birds.
TFS Billy.

Hello Billy,
what a great capture with perfect timing and composition. POV and focus great, lighting and blue BG very nice. TFS, well done

Hi Billy,
Excellent job mate, framing, detail, exposure, all perfect, really nice work all the best Cheers Rick :)

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-02-21 9:54]

Hi Billy.
What an attractive scene and perfect picture. I like excellent exposure despite the opposite lighting, perfect sharpness of the image and nice inclined composition of the picture. My best wishes and thanks.

Great angle and pose! Wonderful clarity and sharpness. good work!!!

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-02-23 7:21]

Hehe, well done on the capture of that new star of Le Cirque du Soleil! Great shot, very good job, thanks!


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-02-25 20:18]

Hello Billy

Wonderful shot of this woodpecker.I have not seen this bird here on TN often.
The details are excellent with wonderful plumage definition.
The colours are natural and well saturated.
Very good POV.


Hi Billy,
Good job with this Ladderback Wp. I can imagine it didn't stay still on the thin branch. You acheived good details with the fine exposure to show the shadowed areas well. TFS

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