Female American Three-Toed Woodpecker in Pike National Forest, Colorado yesterday, August 3, 2014.
Most woodpeckers have four toes but this particular species is one of the few that has three, hence its name. We were camping this past weekend and early yesterday morning I was focused on hummingbirds when I heard this constant tapping from a nearby tree. Upon investigation I found this gal who was not bothered at all by my presence as she went about looking for her breakfast.
This is not a particularly common bird to see if only because it prefers coniferous forests for its habitat. In particular, it prefers forests disturbed by disease and fire which could explain why it was in this particular location very near the area burned by the Hayman Fire in 2002, Colorado’s largest wildfire on record.