The Gila woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis) is named after the Gila River in Arizona – a large red-crowned woodpecker it is found in southwestern North America, particularly Arizona's Sonoran Desert. Gila Woodpeckers use cacti (specifically the Saguaro Cactus) as a nest site. The adult pair will excavate a cavity and often wait for the newly created nesting site to dry before using it. The Gila Woodpecker has a symbiotic relationship with the Saguaro Cactus. The woodpecker helps the cactus by eating its fruit and spreading its seeds to new areas of the desert. It’s also possible that Gila Woodpeckers eat insect pests that could pose a problem to the cacti if left unchecked. In return, the woodpeckers get a place to nest as well as an ampersand’s supply of fruit.
Gila woodpeckerGila woodpeckerGila woodpecker