Gila woodpeckers live primarily in the deserts of the southwestern United States and Mexico. The birds have a black and white-striped back with a brown face and neck. Males have a red cap of feathers at the tops of their heads.
Adult Gila woodpeckers weigh about 3.5 ounces and measure 8 to 10 inches in length. These medium-large sized woodpeckers often nest in cavities of the saguaro cactus, excavated by their long beaks and strong neck muscles. The birds tend to lay three to four eggs in April or May, with the inside of the saguaro providing a safe, cool place to raise their young. Gila woodpeckers prefer to dine on insects, cactus fruits, mistletoe berries and other seasonal fruits.