8 Species of Woodpeckers in Minnesota

Woodpeckers in Minnesota
Photo by Patti Black

There’s a good probability a woodpecker is around if you ever hear rhythmic pounding in the woods. These birds are well known worldwide for striking trees with their unique beak.

These woodpeckers in Minnesota can be found in various woodlands and forests all over America. In this article, we’ll go over the eight species of woodpeckers found in Minnesota and the best times of year to look for them.

Minnesota is bordered to the east by Lake Superior and Michigan and to the west by North and South Dakota in the country’s north-central region.

It is the 12th largest state in terms of total area and has a variety of geographic areas in addition to mixed forests. The variety of habits allows numerous species to coexist.

1. American Three-toed Woodpecker

The American Three-toed is a common species of woodpeckers in Minnesota. It is slightly larger than the Downy Woodpecker and has white feathers on its head, face, and throat.

This species can be found in wooded areas with dead trees or underbrush, where they make their nests in cavities inside trees or other structures.

2. Downy Woodpecker

The downy woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpeckers in Minnesota with a black cap, white cheeks, and orange irises. It has red lips and bill tips.

The outer feathers of the bird are slightly serrated, while the rest of its plumage is plain grayish brown in color with some white spots on its wings or tail feathers.

The downy’s habitat includes forests, parks, and suburbs, where it makes its nest in trees such as basswood or maple trees during early springtime (April-May) when females lay four to six eggs at a time; incubation lasts 11-14 days before chicks hatch out into fledglings which can fly within one week after hatching!

3. Gila Woodpecker

The Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus) is a medium-sized woodpecker that lives in Arizona, New Mexico, and Northern Mexico. They eat insects and other invertebrates such as spiders, scorpions, and centipedes.

The male has red on his head, wings, and tail, while the female has yellow or white feathers on her head and neck.

These woodpeckers in Minnesota can be found near streams or lakes, where they find insects to eat during their breeding season, which lasts from May to July. If you live in Minnesota, you may see these birds around your neighborhood.

4. Golden-fronted Woodpecker

The Golden-fronted Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker with a black cap and red crest. It has white cheeks, a black throat, and a yellow patch on the forehead.

This woodpecker species can be found from southern Canada to Mexico, Central America, and Cuba, as well as Florida, Texas, and southern California.

5. Hairy Woodpecker

The hairy woodpecker is a bird species woodpeckers in Minnesota and other parts of the United States. It belongs to the family Picidae, which also includes ground-dwelling birds like chickadees and woodpeckers.

The hairy woodpecker has brown plumage with white feathers on its neck and breast. Its wings are black with white bars at the edge of each feather, giving it its name (the Greek word for “hairy”).

This bird eats insects such as beetles or ants that live on trees near water sources; it also eats large spiders when available!

Hairy Woodpeckers have been seen throughout Minnesota since colonial times but were once more common here than now due to logging activities that removed many trees from many areas where these birds live today.

They can be found in coastal forests along rivers or lakes where grasses grow thick enough so that one might mistake them for small bushes rather than tall plants!

6. Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Ladder-backed woodpeckers are small birds with black crowns and orange cheeks and are famous woodpeckers in Minnesota.

They usually build their nests on a tree trunk or other tall structures. The ladder-backed woodpecker feeds on insects such as beetles, caterpillars, spiders, and berries.

The range of this species extends from Canada down through most of North America and into Mexico; however, it is not present in Alaska or Hawaii because there are no suitable trees for them to use in those areas!

Some sources have described them as “rather shy, ” but others report that they are quite bold when approached (although they will fly away if disturbed).

7. Lewis’s Woodpecker

The Lewis’s Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker with a relatively short tail and a relatively long, pointed bill. This species is very common in North America and can be found across most of Canada, Alaska, and parts of the U.S., including Minnesota.

The Lewis’s Woodpecker has been observed to feed on various insects, from small beetles to ants and bees (moths). They also eat hawthorn berries, abundant in many types of forests throughout Minnesota.

8. Red-headed Woodpecker

The Red-Headed Woodpecker, or Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus), are large woodpeckers in Minnesota.

It has a brown head and neck with white stripes on its back, wings, and belly. Its red feathers are visible when it flies or perches in trees to eat insects and fruit.

They are also good foragers for acorns, nuts, and seeds from coniferous trees like pine trees or aspen groves during fall migration times.

They sometimes damage trees by pecking at them with their strong jaws but will not kill them if they do so too often because that would cause more damage than benefit!

The red-naped sapsucker is also known as the red-naped sapsucker or black-backed woodpecker. It’s native to North America, though it can also be found in other parts of the world. This bird consists of two subspecies: one from Canada and one from Mexico.


As you can see, Minnesota is home to a vast range of woodpecker species for you to enjoy. If you find yourself in the Upper Midwest, seasoned bird watchers should also be looking for the dark-eyed junco, blue jay, mourning dove, New World warblers, and northern cardinal.

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