23 Different Types of Woodpeckers

Different Types of Woodpeckers
Photo by Martin Eriksson

Woodpeckers are unique birds that use their beaks and feet to peck on trees and other surfaces to get food and create nests.

There are many types of woodpeckers, each with different features that distinguish them from the rest of the species.

For example, some woodpeckers have red heads while others have black tails or yellow crests. Find out more about these 23 different types of woodpeckers here!

1. Red Bellied Woodpecker

The Red-bellied Woodpecker is a gorgeous bird with a redhead, back, and white belly. These different types of woodpeckers are found in forests throughout the eastern United States.

They use their strong beaks to drill holes in trees, looking for insects to eat. The Red-bellied Woodpecker is a fascinating bird, and it’s fun to watch them work!

If you want to see one up close, just go into your backyard and look up. It won’t take long before you spot one flying from tree to tree on its search for food.

2. The Red Winged Woodpecker

The red-winged woodpecker is one of the most widespread woodpeckers in North America. These medium-sized birds have black and white plumage, with distinctive red patches on their wings. 

They are often seen perching on tree trunks or flying from branch to branch in search of food. These different types of woodpeckers typically nest in cavities excavated in dead trees but use manufactured nesting boxes.

3. Lewis’s Woodpecker

The Lewis’s Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker in the western United States. This woodpecker is black with white markings on its wings and tail and a red crest. The Lewis’s Woodpecker feeds on insects, berries, and nuts. 

These different types of woodpeckers nests in trees, using their strong beak to drill holes in the bark. They can breed twice a year, laying an average of three eggs per clutch. As adults, they feed primarily on ants, other invertebrates, and fruit such as apples and grapes. 

They also feed their chicks ant larvae while still inside the nest hole before they fledge (become independent). 23 different types of woodpeckers belong to four genera; I hope this post was helpful!

 4. Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

The Yellow Bellied Sapsucker is a small to medium-sized woodpecker found in North America. The sapsucker gets its name from its diet, mainly consisting of tree sap.

These different types of woodpeckers have a black back with white stripes running down the sides. 

The belly and breast are yellow, and the wings have red patches. Males and females look similar, but the male has a red cap while the female has a black hat. They are known for their loud song, which sounds chic chic chic. 

 5. Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest member of the woodpecker family in North America. They are between 5.5 and 7 inches in length, with a wingspan of 10 to 12 inches.

The adult male has a black and white barred back, black head, white throat and belly, and a small red patch on the back of the head. 

Females look similar but lack the red patch. These different types of woodpeckers are found in woodlands across North America east of the Rocky Mountains. They nest mainly in trees or stumps, and Downies eat insects and larvae from trees.

6. Ivory-billed Woodpecker

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is one of the largest woodpeckers in the world, measuring up to 20 inches in length. The males have a bright red crest, while the females have a black range.

These different types of woodpeckers are known for their powerful beaks, which they use to drill holes in trees for food.

 Ivory-billed Woodpeckers are found in forests throughout the southeastern United States. They’re an endangered species due to habitat loss and degradation from logging and development. Some believe this bird was killed off by Hurricane Katrina when it struck Louisiana in 2005.

 7. Hairy Woodpecker

The Hairy Woodpecker is a woodpecker species found in North America. It is black and white with a long bill and a red patch on the back of its head. These different types of woodpeckers feed on insects, fruits, and nuts. 

It nests in tree cavities and excavates its nest holes. The Hairy Woodpecker is closely related to the Downy Woodpecker, and the two species often hybridize.

 8. Acorn Woodpecker

The Acorn Woodpecker is a small to medium-sized woodpecker found in western North America. The back and wings are black, while the head, throat, and breast are white. The belly and flanks are light gray or brown. 

Adult birds have a red cap on the top of their head. These different types of woodpeckers are often seen in pairs or small family groups. They nest in holes excavated in trees, often using the same tree for many years.

9. Black-backed Woodpecker

The Black-backed Woodpecker is a small to medium-sized woodpecker found in North America. The adult has a black back, wings, and tail, and the underparts are white with some black on the sides. 

The head has a red cap, a white face, and a black neck. These different types of woodpeckers are about 9-10 inches long with a wingspan of about 15 inches. The Black-backed Woodpecker excavates its nesting cavity in trees. 

Both sexes help excavate the nest hole about 2-4 inches in diameter and 12-24 inches deep. The nest cavity is usually located in a living tree that is dying or already dead.

10. Red-headed Woodpecker

The red-headed woodpecker is one of North America’s most beautiful and easily recognizable woodpeckers. These different types of woodpeckers are about the size of a robin, with black and white bodies and a striking redhead.

Though they can be found in forests throughout the eastern half of the continent, they are perhaps most associated with the deep woods of the Appalachian Mountains.

11. Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker is a red-shafted woodpecker that ranges across most of North America.

These woodpeckers are some of the largest in their family, and they have a distinctive call that sounds like wicka-Wicka-wicka. Northern Flickers are primarily brown with black barring on their wings and backs and have a white rump. 

Males have a red crescent on their chests, while females have a yellow crescent. These different types of woodpeckers eat ants, beetles, other insects, and fruits and berries. 

You can often find them foraging on the ground instead of in trees; they also build drumming platforms from wood chips to attract mates.

12. Ladder Backed Woodpecker

The ladder-backed woodpecker is a type found in North and South America. This bird has a black and white checkered back, black wings, and a white belly. The adult male has a red cap on his head, while the female has a black hat. 

The ladder-backed woodpecker gets its name from the horizontal stripes on its back, resembling the ladder’s rungs.

These different types of woodpeckers are primarily found in forests but can also be seen in open woodlands and parks, and they eat insects, fruits, and nuts.

Their nests are twigs, mosses, leaves, and bark scraps. The ladder-backed woodpecker’s scientific name is Picoides scalaris.

13. Gilded Flicker

The Gilded Flicker is a type of woodpecker found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. These birds are part of the Colaptes genus and are known for loud calls and drumming noises.

The Gilded Flicker gets its name from the gold coloration on its back and wings. These different types of woodpeckers are also one of the largest in North America, with 16 to 18 inches.

The Gilded Flicker is a protected species in Arizona and California, and it is also considered an endangered species in other areas of the US, including Texas and New Mexico. 

They are also threatened by loss of habitat due to deforestation as well as pesticides. Habitat loss due to human encroachment has made it difficult for these birds to find suitable nesting spots.

14. Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the largest woodpeckers in North America, measuring 16 to 21 inches in length with a wingspan of up to 30 inches.

The adult has a black body with white stripes running down the neck and face. The male has a red crest, while the female is black. 

Both sexes have white underparts with black bars, and the bill is long and slightly curved. It does not feed on suet or insects but on ants, larvae, beetle larvae, insect pupae, and other invertebrates, which it finds by probing into bark crevices with its bill. It will also eat fruit, berries, and nuts; its nest hole can be over 6 feet deep and 18 inches wide.

15. Golden-fronted Woodpecker

The Golden-fronted Woodpecker is a beautiful bird found in North and Central America. The male has a red cap, the female has a black hat, and both sexes have a golden yellow forehead and nape. 

The back, wings, and tail are black, and the belly is white. These different types of woodpeckers are medium-sized, measuring about 9 inches in length, and they feed on insects, larvae, and acorns. 

Golden-fronted woodpeckers mate for life, and nesting usually occurs in early spring. Females incubate eggs for 13 days. After hatching, chicks spend their first three weeks living with their parents before venturing independently. 

Adults feed them during this time to make sure they get enough food until they can find it themselves. Chicks stay with parents until after breeding season in fall, when both adults leave to overwinter separately but come together again next year to start a new family.

16. Gila Woodpecker

The Gila woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. The adult Gila woodpecker has a black back, wings, and tail, a white belly, and a red cap. The male has a red mustache, while the female does not. 

These different types of woodpeckers are known for loud drumming on trees and houses. They also have a long tongue to reach insects inside trees. When looking for food, they will often use their bill to carve out the bark from around it. 

There are only one other species of woodpecker that lives close to them, which is the hairy woodpecker. Though it looks similar, the hairy woodpecker lacks the distinctive mustache of the Gila woodpecker.

17. Arizona Woodpecker

The Arizona woodpecker is a small to medium-sized woodpecker found in the southwestern United States. These different types of woodpeckers have a black back, wings, white bellies, and redhead. The male has a red cap, while the female has a white hat. 

Both sexes have a black stripe down the middle of the forehead. This woodpecker feeds on insects, fruit, and seeds; it nests in holes in trees, often using abandoned nests of other birds. The Arizona woodpecker is not considered to be threatened or endangered.

18. American Three-toed Woodpecker

The American three-toed woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker found in North America. It has a black body with white stripes on its back and wings.

The male has a red cap, while the female has a white hat. These different types of woodpeckers are insectivores and eat ants, beetles, and other insects. 

They nest in cavities in trees and often use abandoned nests of other birds. American three-toed woodpeckers are considered Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. 

However, forest fragmentation has been severely affected because they require extensive forests for breeding. There are two subspecies: Dryocopus villosus villosus (Eastern) and Dryocopus villosus septentrionalis (Western).

19. Red-cockaded Woodpecker

The red-cockaded woodpecker is one of the most unique-looking woodpeckers. They are small to medium-sized birds with black and white stripes on their back. The males have red caps on their heads, while the females have white hats. 

These different types of woodpeckers are found in the southeastern United States, where they live in pine forests. The red-cockaded woodpecker is endangered due to habitat loss. 

However, these woodpeckers can be seen in southern Alabama and Florida thanks to the efforts of conservationists. Due to its rarity, this bird has not been studied as much as other types of woodpeckers.

20. White-headed Woodpecker

The White-headed Woodpecker is a small to medium-sized woodpecker found in forests across North America. It has a black body, a white head and neck, and a long, black tail.

The White-headed Woodpecker is a vital part of the forest ecosystem, as it helps to control insect populations.

These different types of woodpeckers can be found in coniferous and deciduous forests and are most active in the spring and summer. It forages insects on trees and tree trunks, often working on dead or weakened branches. 

White-headed Woodpeckers eat beetles, ants, spiders, caterpillars, wasps, bees, termites, and ants. They will also feed on acorns and other nuts when available during the fall season.

21. Red-naped Sapsucker

The red-naped sapsucker is a type of woodpecker that gets its name from the sugary sap it eats. These birds are found in North America and parts of Central America. Red-naped sapsuckers are black and white with a red patch on their back and neck. 

These different types of woodpeckers are medium-sized, measuring about 9 inches long. They have a wingspan of 13 inches and weigh between 1.5 and 2 ounces. Red-naped sapsuckers nest in trees, using their beaks to drill holes into the bark. 

The female lays 3 to 7 eggs per clutch, which hatch after about two weeks. Both parents help care for the young birds until they are old enough to fend for themselves.

22. Williamson’s Sapsucker

Williamson’s Sapsucker is a medium-sized woodpecker found in the western United States and Mexico. The different types of woodpeckers are black and white with a red chest and a yellow belly. They get their name from their habit of drilling holes in trees and sucking the sap. 

Williamson’s Sapsuckers are essential members of the ecosystem because they help control insect populations.

One way they do this is by tapping on trees to find larval insects, which allows them to reproduce. The hole-poking behavior also creates new habitats for other types of animals and plants to grow in.

23. Red-breasted Sapsucker

The red-breasted sapsucker is one of the most interesting different types of woodpeckers. These birds are known for drilling small holes in trees and then licking up the sap that oozes out. They also eat insects, berries, and tree frogs. 

The red-breasted sapsucker is a medium-sized woodpecker with a black and white striped back, a red breast, and a yellow belly. These birds are found in North America, from Alaska to Newfoundland.

Conclusion

Woodpeckers are a fascinating group of birds that come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Some are pretty small, while others are quite large. 

They all have one thing in common–they love peaking at the wood! These Different Types of Woodpeckers are found worldwide; some are listed above.

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