The sides and back did have striping, although less on the back than the
sides. My guess after hearing from several Vermont birders is that I did
see a couple of 3-toed woodpeckers. The one with less yellow might have
been a juvenile. Since it was about the same size as the other, however,
I'm guessing it was another adult male whose cap was either less bright
or wasn't lit as well when I saw it.
Thanks to all who responded!
Dave Hanscom (now back in Utah after a delightful, almost dry week in
On Tue, 27 Jun 2006, Nancy A. Brown wrote:
> My Golden 1983 edition of Field Guide of Birds of North America, states
> under Three-toed Woodpecker " No other woodpecker except the
> Black-backed (and, very rarely, the Hairy) has a yellow crown."
> The female of either species would not have the yellow crown, maybe an
> adult male Hairy and male juvenile. A great find whatever the species.
> Was the white sides and back barred or solid ?
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Dave Hanscom" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2006 3:23 PM
> Subject: [VTBIRD] 3-toed woodpecker??
> > I'm a Utah birder who's currently visiting Vermont, and I'm wondering
> > if someone could help me with an identification. This morning I was
> > walking along the bike trail through Colchester Bog, headed toward the
> > causeway. Just before I reached the end of the real boggy area, I saw
> > a couple of woodpeckers working some small trees about 30 feet west of
> > the trail. They had yellow patches on top of their heads. One had a
> > bright yellow patch, and the other, which I assume was a female, had
> > less bright yellow on top.
> > My first assumption was that they were black-backed, which I've seen
> > in New England before (although not down this low), but here's the
> > problem. The markings on the birds were more like those of a hairy
> > woodpecker. They had white down their backs, and they had dark black
> > stripes through their eyes with white stripes above and below.
> > Sibley shows these kinds of variations on 3-toed woodpeckers, which
> > are very common in Utah, but I didn't realize that they lived around
> > here. Nor would I expect them to be at such a low elevation. Sibley
> > does not show such variations on black- backed woodpeckers, however.
> > Has anyone seen these birds in that area who could confirm that I
> > might have found 3-toed woodpeckers in Colchester Bog?
> > Thanks much.
> > Dave Hanscom