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gary furnas — July 19, 05:25PM

What woodpecker is dark gray with a red fletch on the nape if it's neck?

I observed a dark gray woodpecker at a suet feeder in Knoxville, Tenn. on 7/16/17 approx 530pm. The size was slightly bigger than a male Robin with a very short tail and a rectangular red fletch at the nape of it's neck. Smooth round head with no crest. I observed the bird in both the upright and upside down position on the feeder but could not see the breast. The bill appeared to be that of a typical woodpecker, sturdy and elongated. The body was also robust, heftier than a Robin for example. The color reminded me of a Catbird but more charcoal gray. I have searched both North America and South America online for hours and have had no luck. Any help would be most appreciated. Regards

meg — July 22, 12:52PM


This is purely speculative and a wild guess, but try juvenile red-headed woodpecker?

Good birding,


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gary — July 22, 01:42PM

Meg, thanks for the reply. I will try to find photos of a adolescent red headed woodpecker. Regards

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nick — August 10, 05:18AM

I would check out a red-bellied woodpecker, but backlit?

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Gary — August 10, 11:14AM

Nick thanks for the reply. We have a red-bellied woodpecker that nested in an oak in our backyard so we were able to see both male and female and the adolescents so I'm pretty sure the one I observed was very different from the red-bellied as it was in full sun and we were only 15 feet away. I'm going to search Europe and Aisia to see if by chance a species immigrated somehow. Thanks again.

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