Lewis’s Woodpecker

The species I most wanted to add to my life list that I could realistically find here in Idaho was the Lewis’s Woodpecker. Luckily, this beautifully-colored woodpecker is a common summer resident in the state, and it only took a few weeks of waiting until the first couple Lewis’s arrived in the Boise area. Anna and I saw our first bird (and second, and third) at Discovery Park along the Boise River. We were birding there one evening for warblers and I noticed two dark birds flying in from really high up. I said to Anna, “Look at those crows flying like Pileated Woodpeckers.” But then I realized a few seconds later, “Oh wait…those are Lewis’s Woodpeckers!” And then the two birds landed right over our heads in a tree and were soon joined by a third! The lighting wasnt great that evening for photos, but luckily we have seen Lewis’s almost every day since and finally yesterday I took a photo I am happy with (first photo below). This week Lewis’s Woodpecker migration has really picked up; we have had 2 or 3 in the yard of our camper every day as well as 5 or 6 at Discovery Park and we even had a few migrant Lewis’s fly over us while we were shorebird-watching at Black’s Creek Reservoir!

Lewis's Woodpecker

Lewis's Woodpecker migrating over Black's Creek Reservoir