Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis) - HBW 7, p. 448

French: Pic des saguaros German: Gilaspecht Spanish: Carpintero del Gila

Taxonomy: Centurus uropygialis Baird, 1854, Bill Williams Fork of Colorado River, Arizona, USA.
Sometimes combined with other barred congeners in a separate genus Centurus. Formerly considered conspecific with M. hypopolius. Interbreeds to limited extent with M. aurifrons in SW Mexico. Geographical races poorly differentiated owing to rather marked degree of individual variation; dark birds from S Sonora, SW Chihuahua and N Sinaloa often separated as race fuscescens, but probably better treated as part of nominate or, since many appear indistinguishable from cardonensis, should perhaps be merged with latter; further study needed. In addition, described.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Centurus uropygialis Baird, 1854, Bill Williams Fork of Colorado River, Arizona, USA.
Sometimes combined with other barred congeners in a separate genus Centurus. Formerly considered conspecific with M. hypopolius. Interbreeds to limited extent with M. aurifrons in SW Mexico. Geographical races poorly differentiated owing to rather marked degree of individual variation; dark birds from S Sonora, SW Chihuahua and N Sinaloa often separated as race fuscescens, but probably better treated as part of nominate or, since many appear indistinguishable from cardonensis, should perhaps be merged with latter; further study needed. In addition, described races albescens (from S Nevada and SE California to NW Sonora), tiburonensis (from Tiburon I, off W Sonora) and sulfuriventer (from S of range, S from Sinaloa and Zacatecas) fall within range of variation of nominate, with which they are therefore synonymized. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • uropygialis (Baird, 1854) - SE California (Imperial Valley, lower Colorado Valley) and extreme S Nevada E to extreme SW New Mexico, and S in W Mexico to Jalisco and Aguascalientes.
  • cardonensis (Grinnell, 1927) - N & C Baja California.
  • brewsteri (Ridgway, 1911) - S Baja California (S from San Ignacio).