Family: Woodpeckers (Picidae)
Genus & Species : Picoides albolarvatus
Status: This handsome black and white woodpecker is rare to uncommon in high montain forests of San Diego County, CA, and locally common in Riverside County, CA. It is not present in Imperial County, CA, nor in Arizona.
Habitat: The White-headed Woodpecker prefers coniferous forests in the highest mountains, preferably older growth ponderosa and sugar pines. In the winter, they may move to lower elevations.
Best Chances: These woodpeckers were at one time relatively easy to find at Paso Picacho Campground at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in the Laguna Mountains; lately there have been few reports from there. A much more reliable spot (in summer) is at the top of Black Mountain in the San Jacinto Mountains, and along the upper stretches of the road leading there. Other reliable spots to look are Hot Springs and Palomar Mountains.