The Imperial woodpeckers are the Largest woodpeckers in the world, but these species are not the only large woodpeckers to grace our planet.
The presence of woodpeckers in an ecosystem contributes to its overall health and stability. When encountering a woodpecker, some believe it signifies good fortune and financial success.
Woodpeckers consume a wide variety of insects, including some that are destructive to wood and other diets. They symbolize friendship and happiness in many parts of the world.
There are around two hundred species of woodpeckers, and you can find them in various nations. Woodpeckers play a vital role in the ecosystem by excavating nesting cavities for other species of birds, including owls, starlings, sparrows, and many more.
The downy woodpecker, which is only a few inches long, is the smallest woodpecker species, but many others are far longer than that.
In this piece, we will examine the 10 Largest woodpeckers in the world.
1. Pileated Woodpecker
The pileated woodpecker is endemic to North America and Canada, where it favors the dense deciduous forests of both countries for its habitat.
The name pileatus comes from the Latin word for “capped,” which refers to the bright red crest on their heads. They reach lengths of approximately 19 inches.
They have white markings on their faces and throats, and their bodies are black, yet they have a red crest on their heads.
Pileated woodpeckers consume a wide variety of foods, including fruit, nuts, berries, and nuts, in addition to carpenter ants and beetles.
When they seek insects in the trees, these woodpeckers typically make rectangular holes rather than the more common round holes.
During the time of year when mating is possible, the male builds the nest first to entice a suitable female.
2. Ivory-Billed Woodpeckers
There may be no other species of woodpecker whose very existence has been in such jeopardy over the course of time as the ivory-billed woodpecker.
The ivory-billed woodpecker can grow to a length of about 21 inches (making it one of the Largest woodpeckers in the world) and is endemic to South America and Cuba.
It was first classified as endangered in the 1880s and thought to be extinct several times, but each time they prove experts wrong by emerging once again, they prove that they are still alive.
They favor a forest habitat, which has become imperiled because of logging; as a result, they are now officially categorized as being on the verge of extinction.
However, it is unknown to this day whether any more of them still exist or whether they have finally lost the fight for their survival.
The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is primarily black in color, but it has a white stripe running down the back of its neck and a little white patch on its wings. They stay with the same partner for life; the males have a red crest while the ladies are black.
3. Black Woodpecker
The black woodpecker is among the largest woodpeckers in the world, with a length of 22 inches. It is only slightly more significant than the ivory-billed woodpecker; nevertheless, the black woodpecker is much more secure because their numbers are healthy.
The black woodpecker is endemic to much of Europe, excluding the United Kingdom, and thrives well in forested locations throughout much of Asia, including China, Korea, and Japan.
They are also present in the majority of the remainder of Europe. Their name gives away the fact that they are black, yet males have red heads while females have the upper part of their bodies colored this way.
Pine martens are a prominent predator of black woodpeckers because they consume the eggs laid by the black woodpeckers and frequently even murder the females while they sit on their eggs in the nest.
4. Great Slaty Woodpecker
The great slaty woodpecker inhabits the forested regions of several countries in Asia, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
You can also find it in Thailand. Great Slaty Woodpeckers have a length of 23 inches, giving them a good chance of taking over the number one spot soon.
However, even Great Slaty Woodpeckers are vulnerable species because the Imperial Woodpeckers, which are currently the largest woodpeckers in the world, are in grave danger.
The Great Slaty Woodpecker is easily identifiable due to its gray coloring and the red markings around its throat. Its exceptionally narrow neck is another distinguishing feature of this species.
Even though they are quite possessive of their territories, these woodpeckers do not have a loud call and instead rely on moving their heads in a back-and-forth motion to drive away competitors.
5. Imperial Woodpecker
Since 1956, imperial woodpeckers have not been observed in the wild, leading scientists to believe they have been extinct.
The Imperial woodpeckers are the Largest woodpeckers in the world. They can grow to a length of 23.6 inches and have a wing span of 30 inches, so it’s safe to say that they make quite an astounding sight.
These big birds are only found in Mexico, their native habitat, and they prefer to live in woodland areas. They are considered highly endangered and very close to going extinct. 1956 was the year that witnessed the final appearance of an Imperial.
They feature white patterns on the backs of their wings and black bodies. Their bodies contain prominent white markings.
Like several other species, the males of this species have a red crest, while the females have a black one. Most of an imperial woodpecker’s diet consists of insect larvae, which it most frequently locates beneath the bark of dead trees.
The fact that each mating pair needs a big area of forest to thrive — typically around 10 square miles worth — is one of the primary reasons they are so close to becoming extinct.
6. Levaillant’s Woodpecker
This specie of woodpecker cannot be left out when listing the Largest woodpeckers in the world. The hilly woodlands of Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia are home to a species of woodpecker called the Levailant’s woodpecker.
This species got its name from the French adventurer Francois Le Vaillant. They have a wing span of approximately 20 inches and can grow to lengths of approximately 13 inches.
The top of the heads of male Levaillant’s woodpeckers is marked with a red patch, while the top of the heads of females has a gray patch. Levaillant’s woodpeckers are dark green overall, with a paler green belly and breast.
In terms of their appearance and the sounds they make, they are comparable to the larger European Green woodpecker.
Levaillant’s woodpeckers drill a hole in a tree to use as a nesting location. Inside the nest, they create a bed of wood chips on which to lay their eggs.
During the breeding season, which runs from March to June, they will typically deposit anywhere from four to eight eggs.
7. Northern flicker
The northern flicker, also known as the common flicker or yellowhammer, can grow up to 14 inches in length, putting them on the list of the Largest woodpeckers in the world.
They are present in Cuba and the Cayman Islands in addition to their original range in North and Central America, where they originated.
There is the yellow-shafted northern flicker, and there is also the red-shafted north flicker. The bodies of all northern flickers are typically a light brown color, and they have black spots scattered across their bodies.
Their heads are gray, but the males with yellow shafts have a patch of red on the back of their heads, whereas the males with red shafts have it on the side of their faces.
The male and female Northern flickers stay together for life, and the male makes the most effort in building the nest the female will use to lay her eggs.
They are also one of the more uncommon woodpeckers since they migrate, heading further south for the winter.
The males are very territorial, frequently pecking on metal items and trees to produce a louder sound. This makes them one of the more distinctive woodpeckers.
8. Lineated Woodpecker
Lineated woodpeckers are found primarily in Argentina, Mexico, and Trinidad, where they favor lowland forests and woodland areas.
They are a little bit larger than northern flickers, reaching lengths of approximately 14.2 inches, and they can be distinguished from flickers by their distinctive line patterning.
Although they are similar to the pileated woodpecker, they have a striking look, as seen by their brilliant red, tufted crest.
However, they have white stripes running down their neck and back, and their breast is a blend of black and fawn stripes.
The remainder of their head, wings, and back are all black. Even though they consume fruit and nuts, they peck holes in trees, hoping to find beetles and ants to eat.
The lineated woodpeckers typically construct their nest within decaying trees, and both the male and female take turns incubating and hatching the eggs.
9. European Green woodpecker
The European green woodpecker is one of the Largest woodpeckers in the world and may be found all over Europe.
They reach lengths of 14.2 inches and have a similar appearance to Levaillant’s woodpecker. This species has green wings and back, a lighter belly, and a red patch on its head.
European greens are most comfortable in open habitats and frequently reside near scattered trees, hedgerows, and small forest areas.
They are famous for being an exceptionally timid species of woodpecker, and their drumming is relatively uncommon to hear, despite the fact that they have a loud call.
Most of the food that European greens consume comes from ants, which they search for on the ground. This might be problematic for them during snowy weather since the ant nests are typically covered, resulting in a lack of food.
10. Magellanic Woodpecker
The Magellanic woodpecker is the last mention in our compilation of the Largest woodpeckers in the world.
You can find them in the forested regions of Argentina and Chile. It is the largest woodpecker species in South America due to its length of approximately 18 inches.
Except for a white patch on their wings and a red crest on the male’s head, these woodpeckers are almost totally black in color.
In addition to eating various insects, such as spiders and beetles, Magellanic woodpeckers also consume tiny reptiles and bats in their diet.
When they are breeding, these woodpeckers are quite aggressive and territorial, and they typically live in family groups consisting of parents and their kids from the previous year.
They produce two eggs, and although both parents are responsible for incubating those eggs, on average, one of the chicks will perish before it is old enough to leave the nest.