Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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[Mystery bird] Red-bellied Woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus, photographed in the photographer’s back yard in Houston, Texas. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]

Image: Joseph Kennedy, March 2010 [larger view].

Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope with TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/640s f/8.0 at 1000.0mm iso400.

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

Review all mystery birds to date.


  1. #1 PaoloV
    March 30, 2010

    The stiffened tail and black and white barring combined with it being Texan makes me think that this bird has a belly that’s incarnadine (in Shakespeare’s meaning) and a splintery male reproductive organ…

  2. #2 Mathew Partridge
    March 30, 2010

    Ladder backed wood pecker?

  3. #3 Jana
    March 30, 2010

    Do your incarnadines have barred side tail feathers? From what I can see in ID photos, they don’t.

    What about a more …hmmm…chrysaetos-type woodpecker?

  4. #4 Jana
    March 30, 2010

    never mind, I found better pictures, and they do have barred-side tail feathers.

  5. #5 blf
    March 30, 2010

    Oblong ⇒ Brick.

  6. #6 Rob
    March 31, 2010

    Red-bellied Woodpecker: ladder back, white central tail feathers (with the rest of them dark), and the zebra stripe pattern on the wings and back. Also the nape and crown are red.