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Browse our Q&A about birds, eggs, nests, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals of the Central Coast and Channel Islands.



Can you tell what type of feathers these are? The white one was rather large, maybe 20 centimeters long. I was guessing possibly a Great Egret. The black feather was pretty small, maybe 9 centimeters long. Based on the size and pointy tip I thought maybe woodpecker?

Thank you!

Kevin, UCSB - May 14, 2024

Curator Response

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for sharing these pictures and the critical size details. I agree with your ID of Great Egret; the approximate size fits. Another option I considered just looking at the picture was a gull tail feather, but 20 cm would be too long for that. Yes, the smaller is definitely woodpecker, most likely Acorn Woodpecker. The size range fits, and their slightly stiffer central tail feather with that dramatic tip suggests that species more than our other local woodpeckers.

Stay curious,

Curator of Vertebrate Zoology Krista Fahy, Ph.D.