The first morning that we awoke in Scottsdale, Arizona we walked across our hotel complex to get our morning caffeine fix. A male Gila Woodpecker flew onto a palm tree about eye level, no more than 20 feet away. That was my second sighting of a Gila Woodpecker ever. Lulled into believing that it was going to be an easy bird to shoot I was not concerned that I was without my gear and continued with the morning activities. Alas when reality set in it became apparent that although the Gila Woodpeckers are common, getting the shot would prove difficult. But I persisted and did get some quality time with this young lass.
Another female in a tree.
Gila Woodpeckers excavate nest sites in Saguaro Cactus. Knowing this I was sure to keep an eye out for a nest cavity shot. This was shot at quite a distance.
This image illustrates the pressure that a great deal of our North American cavity nesters have been placed under. Introduced European Starlings will usurp nest cavities. House Sparrows will do so also. Starlings House Sparrows are gregarious and team up to take over a nest cavity.