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17 Kinds of Woodpeckers Present in the USA! (2023)


    What sorts of woodpeckers can you discover in the USA?

    types of woodpeckers in  

    Regardless of the place you reside in the USA, you possibly can see a big number of woodpeckers. Most individuals are shocked at the big variety of species that may be discovered close to them.  

    17 sorts of woodpeckers that dwell in the USA!

    Under you’ll be taught extra about every and learn how to establish them by sight OR sound. Take note of the vary maps to see which woodpeckers dwell close to you!

    #1. Downy Woodpecker

    Common Woodpeckers in United States

    Figuring out Traits:

    • Comparatively small and has a small invoice in comparison with different woodpecker species.
    • Shade-wise, they’ve white bellies with a principally black again that options streaks and spots of white.
    • Male birds have a particular purple spot on the again of their head, which females lack.


    Downy Woodpeckers are one of the frequent woodpeckers in the USA!


    You most likely acknowledge them, as they’re a well-recognized sight in most backyards and are present in many various habitats. Naturally, they’re seen in deciduous woods with a close-by water supply. However these birds have tailored properly to human growth and are generally noticed in suburban backyards, parks, orchards, and cemeteries.

    Downy Woodpecker Vary Map


    Fortunately, this woodpecker species is straightforward to attract to your yard. The very best meals to make use of are suet, sunflower seeds, and peanuts (together with peanut butter). You might even spot them consuming sugar water out of your hummingbird feeders!


    As soon as you realize what to pay attention for, my guess is that you’ll begin listening to Downy Woodpeckers all over the place you go. Their calls resemble a high-pitched whinnying sound that descends in pitch in direction of the top. And for those who’re actually good, you possibly can attempt to establish this species by how they drum on bushes, which they do when in search of a mate or establishing a territory. The drumming is so quick it virtually appears like one uninterrupted sound!

    Press PLAY above to listen to a Downy Woodpecker!


    #2. Bushy Woodpecker

    Types of Woodpeckers found in United States

    Figuring out Traits:

    • Their our bodies are black and white total with a protracted, chisel-like beak.
    • Male birds might be recognized by a purple patch behind their heads, which females lack.  


    Bushy Woodpeckers are frequent in the USA in mature forests, suburban backyards, city parks, swamps, orchards, and even cemeteries. However, truthfully, they are often discovered anyplace with an abundance of huge bushes.


    Look-wise, Bushy Woodpeckers have been in comparison with troopers, as they’ve cleanly striped heads and an erect, straight-backed posture whereas on bushes. Sometimes, I see them essentially the most throughout winter when their major meals supply, bugs, isn’t as plentiful. I’ve the very best luck attracting them utilizing suet and sunflower seeds in my yard.

    Bushy Woodpecker Vary Map

    Bushy Woodpeckers might be difficult to establish as a result of they appear virtually equivalent to Downy Woodpeckers! These two birds are complicated to many individuals and current an issue when attempting to determine the proper species. Listed here are the THREE greatest methods to distinguish these two woodpeckers:



    • Bushy’s are bigger and measure 9 – 11 inches (23-29 cm) lengthy, about the identical measurement as an American Robin. A Downy is smaller and solely measures 6 – 7 inches (15-18 cm) in size, barely larger than a Home Sparrow.


    • Wanting on the measurement of their payments in relation to their head is my FAVORITE strategy to inform these woodpeckers aside. Downys have a tiny invoice, which measures a bit lower than half the size of their head, whereas Hairys have a invoice that’s virtually the identical size as their head.


    Outer tail feathers:

    • If all else fails, attempt to get a superb take a look at their outer tail feathers. Hairys can be utterly white, whereas Downys are noticed.


    Lastly, you possibly can pay attention for a Bushy Woodpecker:

    The most typical name is a brief, sharp “peek.This sound is just like what a Downy Woodpecker makes, besides it’s barely decrease in pitch. Additionally they make a pointy rattling or whinny, which you’ll hear by urgent PLAY under.


    #3. Northern Flicker

    Northern Glints are splendidly good-looking birds and comparatively frequent in the USA. They’re in regards to the measurement of an American Robin and have a black bib and noticed stomach. However, relying in your location, these woodpeckers seem completely different. There are two distinct variations you must look ahead to:  

    Variation #1: Yellow-shafted

    This sub-species is usually discovered within the jap half of North America. These birds are characterised by purple on the again of their head and yellow feathers on their underwing and tail which are seen in flight. Males even have a BLACK mustache stripe, which females lack.


    Variation #2: Purple-shafted

    This selection is discovered within the west. To accurately establish, search for a RED mustache stripe, which is discovered on each sexes. Additionally, when they’re in flight, you possibly can clearly see red-orange feathers on their underwing and tail. Purple-shafted Northern Glints even have a principally grey face with a brown crown, whereas the Yellow-shafted selection has a brown face and grey crown.


    And right here is essentially the most complicated half:  

    The place these two styles of Northern Glints overlap, they breed with one another! Not surprisingly, these hybrids have a mix of each options.  

    Northern Flicker Vary Map


    To discover a Northern Flicker, you must look on the bottom! These birds are distinctive and don’t act like typical woodpeckers. They spend a number of time looking for ants and beetles on the forest flooring by digging by the filth! They hammer away on the soil similar to different woodpeckers drill into bushes.


    Northern Glints are pretty straightforward to establish by sound! Hear for a loud ringing name that appears like a piercing “wicka-wicka-wicka.”


    #4. Pileated Woodpecker

    Woodpeckers species that live in United States

    Figuring out Traits:

    • Principally black however with white stripes on their face and neck.
    • Search for a big triangle purple crest on the highest of their heads.
    • Males have a purple stripe on their cheeks, whereas the stripe is black on females.


    No different woodpecker species in the USA make you cease in your tracks like a Pileated Woodpecker. These birds are HUGE; adults might be as much as 19 inches (48 cm) lengthy and have a wingspan of 30 inches (76 cm). For reference, that is in regards to the measurement of a crow.  

    Pileated Woodpecker Vary Map


    Pileated Woodpeckers are present in the USA in massive, mature forests with many useless and fallen bushes. They depend on rotting wooden consisting of ants, wood-boring beetles, and termites to seek out meals, though they are going to complement their weight loss program with fruits and nuts. And for those who’re fortunate, it’s attainable to see them in your yard visiting suet feeders!


    These birds are fairly vocal, and you should not have any downside listening to one. Hear for a loud “cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk,” which rises and falls in pitch and quantity. Simply to warn you, Northern Glints sound extremely related!


    #5. Purple-bellied Woodpecker

    Common Woodpeckers species in United States

    Figuring out Traits:

    • Males have a vibrant purple plumage that extends from their payments to the again of their necks, whereas females solely have purple on the again of their necks.
    • The undersides are a mix of white and tan.
    • Their backs are a black and white barred sample.


    Purple-bellied Woodpeckers are certainly one of my FAVORITE birds to see at chicken feeders. I believe they’re attractive with their black and white barred backs. However their identify might be complicated since their bellies don’t truly include a lot purple coloring apart from an vague purple wash.  

    Purple-bellied Woodpecker Vary Map



    Curiously, it has been decided that Purple-bellied Woodpeckers are one of the dominant birds at feeders. They hardly ever again down from another chicken. I can attest to this truth, as I generally see them keeping off quite a few starlings at a time by aggressively attempting to stab these invasive birds with their invoice!


    Like most different woodpeckers, Purple-bellied Woodpeckers have a protracted tongue that may prolong almost two inches previous their invoice!

    The tongue’s finish is sticky and barbed, which helps them seize bugs from deep crevices inside bushes. To suit this lengthy tongue inside their head, it wraps up and across the again of their head!


    One other nice strategy to discover this woodpecker is to be taught its calls! It’s frequent to listen to them in forests, wooded suburbs, and parks. Hear for a rolling “churr-churr-churr.”  PRESS PLAY BELOW:


    #6. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

    United States Woodpeckers species

    Figuring out Traits:

    • Black and white bottom and a big white shoulder patch.
    • Search for their distinctive purple crown and black and white striped face. Males have a purple throat, whereas females are white!
    • Because the identify suggests, most people have a yellowish-white stomach. 


    This migratory woodpecker is discovered within the jap United States in younger deciduous forests. They want habitats with many rising bushes, that are excellent for creating productive sap wells. Their favorites appear to be maples and birches, though Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers have been documented drilling into over 1,000 completely different tree species.  

    Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Vary Map


    Because the identify suggests, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers rely closely on tree sap as a high-energy meals. These birds drill holes into residing bushes, neatly organized into rows. These holes change into sap wells, which slowly leak sap that’s eagerly eaten.  


    Sap wells are even vital to hummingbirds! Some Ruby-throated Hummingbirds time their migration north every spring to correlate with Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers. The sugary sap ensures that hummingbirds have a meals supply since not many flowers are blooming but!


    The most typical sound these birds make is a nasally, cat-like “meow,” which is often repeated.


    #7. Purple-headed Woodpecker

    • Melanerpes erythrocephalus

    Figuring out Traits:

    • A big purple head and a invoice bigger than most different woodpecker species.
    • Their again is fully black, apart from white wing patches, which contrasts in opposition to the pure white stomach.


    This chicken will get my vote for the best-looking woodpecker in the USA! Due to their daring patterning, these birds are generally known as the “flying checkerboard.”


    Sadly, populations of Purple-headed Woodpeckers have declined in the USA by over 70% previously 50 years! The principle perpetrator is habitat loss because of the destruction of large beech forests, which produce beechnuts, certainly one of their favourite meals. As well as, and for aesthetic causes, most individuals lower down useless bushes, which these woodpeckers rely on for nesting cavities.

    Purple-headed Woodpecker Vary Map


    Purple-headed Woodpeckers are one of many solely woodpecker species recognized to retailer meals. They are going to disguise nuts, seeds, or bugs underneath bark, fence posts, and even wedged underneath roof shingles. Extremely, they are going to even retailer LIVE crickets by shoving them in a crevice so tightly they will’t escape!


    When you occur to seek out your self within the right habitat, be sure to pay attention for one! Their most typical name is a shrill “tchur,” which sounds just like a Purple-bellied Woodpecker, besides it’s a bit extra higher-pitched and doesn’t roll as a lot.  


    #8. Purple-cockaded Woodpecker


    Curiously, though the identify suggests in any other case, Purple-cockaded Woodpeckers don’t have a lot purple plumage on their physique! Solely the males have an extraordinarily tiny, virtually invisible purple spot behind their eyes. Along with white cheeks, the remainder of the physique options black and white bars, stripes, and spots.


    Though as soon as widespread, Purple-cockaded Woodpeckers are actually onerous to seek out in the USA. They have been even added to the Endangered Species listing in 1970.  

    Purple-cockaded Woodpecker Vary Map


    The issue for these birds is that they’re habitat specialists, as they strongly want residing in Longleaf Pine forests. Sadly, this sort of tree has been extensively logged all through many of the southeast and changed with different pine species.


    These birds have an attention-grabbing approach of deterring rat snakes, which climb bushes and prey on younger woodpeckers contained in the nest cavity. Sap wells are drilled close to the nest’s entrance, which leaks sap down the tree and makes it onerous for the snakes to ascend!  


    Purple-cockaded Woodpeckers are very vocal! The very best-known sound is an alarm name, which appears like a raspy “sklit.” A rattling noise can be given when in flight. LISTEN BELOW!


    #9. Lewis’s Woodpecker

    Lewis’s Woodpeckers are extremely distinctive with regards to woodpeckers.


      For instance, listed here are a couple of attributes that these birds possess:  

    • Lewis’s Woodpeckers look completely different and are bulkier than different species of woodpecker. Each men and women have a inexperienced again, pink physique, grey collar, and a purple face patch! I believe it appears to be like like Christmas determined to make a woodpecker! ?
    • It’s extraordinarily uncommon to seek out these birds drilling right into a tree in search of wood-boring bugs. As a substitute, they catch bugs in midair by ready patiently from a perch, just like flycatchers.
    • Lastly, Lewis’s Woodpeckers fly utilizing gradual, deep wingbeats and ceaselessly glide, which resembles how a crow flies. Most different woodpecker species have extra of a bounding flight sample.

    Lewis’s Woodpecker Vary Map


    Search for these nomadic woodpeckers within the western United States in open ponderosa pine forests, just lately burned areas, oak woodlands, orchards, and pinyon-juniper woods.  


    Lewis’s Woodpeckers are extra silent than different woodpecker species. However in the course of the mating season, you could hear a harsh “churr” name given by the male, repeated a number of instances in a row. LISTEN BELOW!


    #10. Purple-naped Sapsucker

    Figuring out Traits:

    • Smaller woodpeckers with black our bodies, a white vertical stripe down the wing, and a purple crown.
    • Male birds have a purple throat and purple nape (again of the neck).
    • Females even have a purple throat, however there may be additionally a small white patch slightly below the invoice, and their nape might be white or purple.


    Purple-naped Sapsuckers are generally present in the USA close to aspen, birch, and willow bushes. Search for their presence by inspecting these bushes for tiny holes which have been drilled for sap.


    To slurp up sap, these migratory woodpeckers have a specialised tongue. Imagine it or not, they’ve stiff hairs on the ends, which helps drink the sap extra successfully. The sap wells they create are vital to them, they usually spend a number of time defending them from different birds.  

    Purple-naped Sapsucker Vary Map

    Purple-naped Sapsuckers, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, and Purple-breasted Sapsuckers was lumped collectively as the identical species. However in 1983, researchers decided that they wanted to be separated into particular person species. However the place territories overlap, these species will breed with one another. So for those who ever have bother differentiating between sapsucker species, please know you could be a hybrid!


    The most typical sound you’ll hear is a harsh, repeated “waah.” Some folks suppose they sound like a small little one crying. You may as well pay attention for his or her drumming, which is comparatively gradual and irregular.


    #11. Williamson’s Sapsucker

    Figuring out Traits:

    • Males: Their our bodies are principally black with massive white wing patches. Faces have two distinctive white stripes working horizontally. Bellies are yellow, and the throat shows a small purple patch.
    • Females: Horizontal black and white barring beautify their backs. The pinnacle is brown. On their chest, search for a black breast patch.


    Williamson’s Sapsuckers are frequent woodpeckers discovered within the western United States. These birds are usually present in in depth, mature coniferous forests.


    These woodpeckers are distinctive as a result of men and women look fully completely different! This attribute is uncommon in woodpeckers, the place each sexes usually seem related. Actually, when these birds have been first found, it took scientists a very long time to even notice they have been the identical species!

    Williamson’s Sapsuckers Vary Map


    These birds rely closely on tree sap for meals. Shallow holes are drilled into bushes, known as sap wells, which permit the sugary liquid to move. Williamson’s Sapsuckers ONLY eat sap from conifer bushes, leaving deciduous bushes alone.  


    In the case of woodpeckers, these birds make a singular sound. Their nasally descending calls (“chyahh“) sound extra like a raptor!


    #12. American Three-toed Woodpecker

    Figuring out Traits:

    • Each sexes have black and white barring round and throughout their our bodies.
    • Males have a yellow crown on the highest of their heads, whereas females have a black crown with white spots and streaks.  


    In the USA, American Three-toed Woodpeckers dwell amongst conifer bushes.

    Particularly, these birds are present in disturbed areas, resembling coniferous forests, which have been broken by fires, wind storms, or floods. These locations have a lot of useless bushes and limbs, which magnetize beetle larvae that these woodpeckers feast on!

    American Three-toed Woodpecker Vary Map

    One attention-grabbing truth about this chicken is that it breeds farther north than ANY different woodpecker in North America!


    American Three-toed Woodpeckers have a particular foraging model. They chip at useless or dying bushes till items of bark break off, which supplies them entry to the bugs (and generally sap) beneath. A superb indication that these birds are within the space is that if you will discover a tree with patches of darkish outer bark and lighter interior bark.


    In-flight, you may additionally hear a descending rattle, which is analogous in sound to a kingfisher. Their typical name is a tender, squeaking “mew” or “pik.”  


    #13. Black-backed Woodpecker

    Figuring out Traits:

    • These woodpeckers are comparatively straightforward to establish since they’ve a stable black again.
    • Males have a particular yellow patch on the highest of their heads, which females lack.  


    Discovering a Black-backed Woodpecker is straightforward! All that you must do is use forests which have been burned throughout the final eight years!


    These woodpeckers are habitat specialists and find just lately burned areas simply weeks after the hearth blazes by. These birds feast on the wood-boring beetles that begin infesting the useless bushes. The feasting is so good that Black-backed Woodpeckers will keep in these areas from 5 to eight years after the preliminary burn.  

    Black-backed Woodpecker Vary Map


    Their name appears like a tough or sharp “kyiik” or “pik.”



    #14. Ladder-backed Woodpecker

    Figuring out Traits:

    • Black and white barred again and wings, with a grayish physique that features black spots.
    • They’re comparatively small and about the identical measurement as a Downy Woodpecker (I believe they appear related).
    • Males have a purple crown, which females lack.  


    The small measurement of Ladder-backed Woodpeckers permits them to be extremely agile. This ability is required as they navigate the sharp spines and thorns of the numerous vegetation they forage on.  

    Ladder-backed Woodpecker Vary Map


    Search for Ladder-backed Woodpeckers within the southwestern United States in locations that don’t include too many bushes. I do know that sounds humorous for a woodpecker, however this species is present in arid habitats resembling deserts, desert scrubs, thorn forests, and pinyon-juniper forests.


    Hear for a transparent, high-pitched “pik” name, which is usually repeated and used to remain in touch with one another. These birds additionally give a harsh rattle name, which sounds just like different small woodpecker species.


    #15. Purple-breasted Sapsucker

    Figuring out Traits:

    • Search for a medium-sized chicken with a purple head, purple breast, and a white spot in entrance of the attention.
    • Massive white patches seem on the wings.
    • Each men and women look the identical.  


    Purple-breasted Sapsuckers are discovered within the western United States in coniferous forests, usually at decrease elevations.


    Because the identify suggests, sapsuckers drill wells into bushes to eat the sugary liquid that leaks out. Their favourite bushes to make use of are willows and birches. Along with sap, these woodpeckers additionally eat bugs and a few fruits.

    Purple-breasted Sapsucker Vary Map


    Curiously, Rufous Hummingbirds are likely to comply with Purple-breasted Sapsuckers round. These tiny birds take pleasure in feeding on the sap the sapsuckers get flowing and are even recognized to nest close to the wells.


    Their name is a harsh, slurred “whee-ur” or “mew.


    #16. Acorn Woodpecker

    Acorn Woodpeckers are usually straightforward to seek out within the western United States.

    You simply want to seek out and take a stroll in a forest with LOTS of oak bushes and search for a chicken that resembles a clown!  


    These woodpeckers depend on acorns as certainly one of their major meals sources (therefore the identify). They’ve an attention-grabbing approach of storing these acorns, as they put every nut into individually drilled holes in “storage” bushes.  


    These bushes, additionally known as granaries, can home as much as 50,000 nuts that the woodpeckers use for meals when wanted! The acorns are shoved so tightly into every area that different animals have problem getting them out. And amazingly, all of those tiny holes don’t kill the tree! However in case you have a home with wooden siding, and these woodpeckers have found it, you might have a tough time eliminating them. ?  

    Acorn Woodpecker Vary Map


    Acorn Woodpeckers even have extremely fascinating and sophisticated social lives. For instance, they dwell in household teams of as much as twelve people. These teams cooperate in lots of elements, together with elevating younger, discovering meals, and guarding the meals saved of their granaries.


    These birds make very distinctive sounds, so be sure to pay attention for Acorn Woodpeckers if you end up mountain climbing in an oak forest. Calls resemble “waka-waka-waka.”


    #17. White-headed Woodpecker

    In the case of woodpeckers present in the USA, this species is exclusive!  


    First, the White-headed Woodpecker has a really distinctive look. The chicken’s total physique is roofed in black feathers, apart from its daring white head! One look, and you understand how it acquired its identify. Males have a small purple patch on the again of their heads, which females lack.  

    White-headed Woodpecker Vary Map


    Second, these woodpeckers require a really particular habitat. Search for them in mountainous old-growth pine forests within the western United States, particularly ones with open canopies and LOTS of pine cones.


    White-headed Woodpeckers LOVE to eat pine seeds. They receive their favourite meals by prying and hammering in opposition to pine cones till they’ve gotten their reward. These birds additionally eat bugs throughout hotter months, resembling ants, beetles, and termites, like regular woodpeckers. And for those who dwell inside their vary, be sure to place out a suet feeder, as they are going to go to backyards that provide a constant meals supply.


    White-head Woodpeckers have a name that appears like a pointy “pee-dink” or “pee-dee-dee-dink.” However it’s not usually heard, as these birds are principally silent.


    Which sorts of woodpeckers have you ever seen earlier than in the USA?


    Depart a remark under! 


    To be taught extra about different birds close to you, try these guides!