Date: 12/3/17 2:03 am From: W MCCRADY <wmccrady...> Subject: [AZNMbirds] Pileated Woodpecker in Catron County, NM
On Tuesday of last week, I had a secondhand report of a PILEATED WOODPECKER seen on Saturday, November 25, in Catron County, NM, near the Grant County line. While I did keep my eyes open when driving between Gila Hot Springs and the Gila Cliff Dwellings Nat'l Monument, and spent three hours birding in the Heart Bar WMA one day, I figured it was either a misidentification ( for what, though?) or the bird was long gone.
Imagine my surprise yesterday when I heard its distintive deep drumming followed by a short call. I looked for the bird for over two hours and again later with no success, although I may have caught it in the background of a photo. It's distant and blurry enough that I'm not sure.
I then stopped by and talked to the lady who had the original sighting and it looks good. She saw it fairly close, both perched and in flight, and heard it cackle. She seems to know her birds.
The problem with trying to find it is that there are many dead standing and down trees here due to fire and floods. More birders in the area may mean a higher chance of finding it and getting a photo. I believe this would be the first record for the state.
Dawn saw it at the Heart Bar WMA. I heard it less than a mile north of her location. I was overlooking the beginning of the Middle Forks Trail just past the Visitor Center for the Gila Cliff Dwellings.
Please feel free to email me with questions but be patient with replies. Internet access in this area is extremely limited.