Many presumptions can be made here based upon information given:
I'm no scientist, and I base thess guesses solely on my limited knowledge and my observations. I don't know what habitat was present at that time (if different than present). No size was mentioned for scale.
I'm probably wrong, but my quick guess would be immature Red-headed Woodpeckers or possibly immature Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers?. Their dark heads can appear blueish in the wrong light and during their first winter. Afterward in Spring, they show their adult/breeding plumages.
The only other "blue-headed 'woodpecker'" type bird I can think of might be Belted Kingfisher. An ice storm (providing no open water in wooded areas) would drive Belted Kingfishers elsewhere. Their absence could be conceived as a kill off.
Do we know if carcasses were present or found as evidence of a "kill off". Was the gentleman color blind by chance. . . well, in color blindness red or black will not appear blue; so that's not an issue.

Chris Barrigar
Stoddard Co.
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Date: Tue, 5 Jan 2010 09:58:56 -0600
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Blue-headed woodpeckers seen in Missouri - a quiz
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I received a public inquiry by email about what someoneís grandfather said. He said that there used to be blue-headed woodpeckers in Bollinger County until a big ice storm killed them all off. And he said they havenít been seen since.  Grandfather (1893-1977) was a great woodsman according to his grandson.


Does anyone know what species this might be?  Include a brief rational for your decision.  This is a fun quiz, there is no test next period.


 I have convinced myself that I have it figured out finally. Just checking with the many authorities on MObirds-l.  I will post the results when I am overwhelmed with emails. Thanks.






Brad Jacobs

Missouri Department of Conservation

P.O.Box 180

Jefferson City , MO 65102

573-751-4115 ext 3648


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