Red-headed Woodpecker

The Red-headed Woodpecker, according to the results obtained from examinations of stomach contents of various birds belonging to this family, is a trifle more inclined to eat fruits of the orchard than are its allies. It is said to partake "rather freely of cultivated varieties, showing some preference for the larger ones, such as apples." It also feeds upon corn and beechnuts in winter where these are to be had. To counteract these injuries it eats large numbers of grasshoppers and other injurious insects.

408. Melanerpes torqatus (Wils.).—LEWIS'S WOODPECKER.

Sioux county (L. Bruner); "Given by Baird as taken in August and March" (Taylor); "East to the Black hills and western Texas" (Goss); Cherry county (J. M. Bates).

409. Melanerpes carolinus (Linn.). — RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER.

West Point, Omaha, Harrison (L. Bruner); "Rather common in spots in southern Nebraska" (Aughey); "Resident, not uncommon" (Taylor) "West to eastern base of the Rocky mountains" (Goss); Omaha (L. Skow); Lincoln (F. J. Brezee); "Not commonly seen—breeds in Sarpy county" (I. S. Trostler).

412. Colaptes auratus (Linn.).—FLICKER; YELLOW-SHAFTED FLICKER.

West Point., Omaha, Lincoln, Pine Ridge, Holt county (L. Bruner); breeds; "Weeded portions of Nebraska—breeds" (Aughey); "Abundant during spring, summer, and fall, and probably a constant resident" (Taylor); "West to the eastern slopes of the Rocky mountains" (Goss); Beatrice, De Witt (A. S. Pearse); Omaha—breeding (L. Skow); Cherry county—breeds (J. M. Bates); Wood River, Newcastle, Genoa, O’Neill (D. H. Talbot); Gage county—breeds (F. A. Colby); "a common resident—becoming scarcer and being replaced by the Red-shafted Flicker" (I. S. Trostler); Sioux county, Feb. 25, 1896 (L. Skow).


The Flicker is one of our most common woodpeckers in Nebraska, and does much towards keeping down a number of different kinds of insects. It is very fond of, in fact it is partial to, ants as a diet and this element forms almost half of its entire food-supply during the year. It also occasionally feeds upon the Chinch-bug, as can be attested by the fact that the stomach of a specimen killed near Lincoln contained in the vicinity of 1,000 of these bugs. It is also a fruit eater to the extent of about one-quarter of its entire bill of fare, but nature, not man, furnishes the supply. It takes the wild kinds in preference to those that are cultivated.

413. Colaptes cafer (Gmel.).--RED-SHAFTED FLICKER.

West Point, Omaha (L. Bruner); "is not abundant" (Aughey); "Found in the summer and late fall" (Taylor); "Western United States" (Goss); De Witt (A. S. Pearse); Omaha (L. Skow), Cherry county—breeds (J. M. Bates); Lincoln (D. A. Haggard); Wood River, Genoa, St. Edward (D. H. Talbot); "formerly rare but gradually becoming more common—breeds same time as preceding" (L S. Trostler).



417. Antrostomus vociferus (Wils.).--WHIPPOORWILL.

West Point, Omaha, Lincoln, Thomas county (L. Bruner); "Occasionally found in eastern Nebraska, where it breeds" (Aughey); "Summer resident, not uncommon" (Taylor); "Eastern United States to the plains" (Goss); Omaha—breeding (L. Skow); Peru, common—breeds (G. A. Coleman); cherry county—perhaps breeds (J. M. Bates); "a common summer resident—breeds May 10 to July 1" (I. S. Trostler).

418. Phalænoptilus nuttalii (Aud.).—POORWILL.

Crawford, Harrison (L. Bruner); "Rather in central and western Nebraska in the vicinity of timber" (Aughey); "Summer resident, common" (Taylor); "East into Iowa and Missouri" (Goss).

420. Chordeiles virginianus (Gmel.).—NIGHTHAWK.

West Point, Omaha, Holt county, Lincoln, etc—breeds (L. Bruner); "Common in Nebraska, and breeds here" (Aughey); "Summer resident, common" (Taylor); "West to edge of Great Plains" (Goss) ; Beatrice, De Witt (A. S. Pearse); Omaha—breeds (L. Skow); Peru, common—breeds (G. A. Coleman); Gage county (F. A. Colby); "common summer resident—breeds in latter May and early June" (I. S. Trostler).

420a. Chordeiles virginianus henryi (Cass.). — WESTERN NIGHTHAWK.

Holt county, Harrison, Thedford—breeds (L. Bruner); "Occasionally straggling east into Illinois" (Goss); Omaha—breeds (L. Skow); Cherry county— breeds (J. M. Bates); North Platte, "summer resident, common" (M. K. Barnum); Omaha, one killed Aug. 1, 1892, from flock seen in evening (I. S. Trostler).


423. Chætura pelagica (Linn.).—CHIMNEY SWIFT.

Omaha, West Point, Lincoln—breeds (L. Bruner); "Abundant in eastern Nebraska" (Aughey); "Summer resident, common, arrive in May" (Taylor); "West to the edge of the plains" (Goss); Beatrice—nesting (A. S. Pearse); Omaha—breeds (L. Skow); Peru, common—breeds (G. A. Coleman); Gage county (F. A. Colby); "common summer resident, breeds in Omaha in large numbers" (I. S. Trostler).

425. Aeronautes melanoleucus (Baird.) — WHITE-THROATED ROCK SWIFT.

Harrison, Crawford—breeds (L. Bruner).


428. Trochilus colubris Linn.—RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD.

West Point, Omaha, Lincoln (L, Bruner); Lincoln, June (Aughey); "Summer resident, common" (Taylor); "West to the high central plains" (Goss); Omaha—nesting (L. Skow); Cherry county—breeds (J. M. Bates); "not uncommon in residence portions of Omaha, where it nests among vines on porches, etc." (I. S. Trostler).

432. Selasphorus platycercus (Swains.).—BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD.

Cheyenne, Wyo. —common (Allen, Coues); Black Hills—quite common (C. H. Holden); several specimens, supposed to be this bird, were seen on Pine Ridge, Sioux, and Dawes counties in the summer of 1891 (L. Bruner).


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© 2001, Lynn Waterman