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Thursday,24 Jan 2013


Justin Henderson is responsible for most of the the text on this site. Justin is an established writer, having published six novels as well as many non-fictions and travel guides. When he’s not writing, he’s usually riding waves on a surfboard or a paddleboard in Sayulita or Punta de Mita.


This is another installation in the informal ongoing series of blogs on birds we watch from our balcony here on Sayulita’s north side. There is a dead tree in the back end of the schoolyard across the street from our house, and like the lineated woodpecker we featured a few weeks ago, these fuzzy-headed Mexican woodpeckers are enjoying a bug and larva feast, working the trunk and branches of this tree. These particular birds are known as Golden-Cheeked Woodpeckers (Centurus chrysogenys).

The species’ range is the Mexican Pacific Coast from Sinaloa to Oaxaca, and there are plenty of them in the Sayulita area. They build their nests in hollow trees, their favorite being the cecropia trees which are abundant in this area. They tend to stick together in pairs, almost always feeding in the same trees and, if not, then constantly communicating through loud vocalizations like any proper married couple. As is true with most birds, the males are the flashier ones, in this case featuring the brighter red head.