Southwestern United States and northern tip of Central America.
Saguaro deserts, dry washes, river woods, cottonwood groves, towns and cities.
Male has round red cap; both sexes fawn-colored with back, wings, and tail banded or cross-striped with black and white. Gray-brown head and underparts. Female similar to male in appearance except lacks red cap.
A very conspicuous, noisy bird. Lives in nest cavities of trees and sometimes canyon foothills. May occupy the same nesting hole for more than 1 season until it is appropriated by an owl, kestrel, snake or large lizard.
3-4 white eggs are laid around April to May. Incubation lasts about 14 days and is shared by both sexes. Young are fed and cared for by adults for a long time after leaving the nest. Sometimes interbreeds with golden-fronted woodpecker.