I'm loving woodpeckers right now! Every morning, the local woodpeckers come to my back deck to get their share of the peanuts before the greedy Blue Jays get them all. I find their markings and also their call very charming.
This recent engraving of mine depicts both female and male Red-cockaded Woodpeckers. Notice that little red spot on the side of the male's head? Rarely visible, except perhaps during the breeding season and periods of territorial defense, the male has a small red streak on each side of its black cap called a cockade, hence its name. The common name came into use during the early 1800’s when 'cockade' was regularly used to refer to a ribbon or other ornament worn on a hat. The females lack the red cockade. Juvenile males have a red 'patch' in the center of their black crown. This patch disappears during the fall of their first year at which time their 'red-cockades' appear.