Members of our naturalist society received an email from the society president today saying that a Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) had been spotted in town today, far out of its usual range (see map below).
After I finished my egg route, my mother drove to the neighbourhood where the bird had been spotted and dropped me off for an hour. About five minutes into my search, I found it on a power pole. Here are some photos I quickly snapped. It’s very exciting news, because it’s so far out of range, it’s a life bird for me, and its status is “near threatened”.
Here is the range map from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology,
As you can see, Alberta is completely blank — — most of Canada and the western United States too — so to find a Red-headed Woodpecker here is very unusual, though there have been some reports on eBird of the bird in the south of the province.
Will add more to this post but have some emails to write to let others know!