I love the two large walnut trees found along our drive and how they always seem to sport a bird or two perching near the top. Most commonly seen, of course, are red-tailed hawks, but some evenings or early mornings I’ll see great horned owls perched near the top. The view of the surrounding land must be fantastic and a great spot to see any movement of edible creatures like kangaroo rats or cottontails. We hang out around those trees too. It’s a favorite spot for our dogs to mark and a few years ago we hung a swing from one of the trees making it a destination that we all enjoy.
Ladder-backed woodpeckers (Picoides scalaris) are common year round in the borderlands. There are a bunch of woodpecker species to be found around us. The book Finding Birds in Southeast Arizona (now in a revised eighth edition) lists fifteen species, three of which would be unusual sightings. Glassing and identifying a dozen species sounds like a good quest to me.
A couple notes: The photos are mine. If you look closely at that magnificent walnut tree you can see the white ropes that hang a swing. The woodpecker photos show a male ladder-backed pecking at a pecan and a female on the trunk of the pecan tree.