17 Kinds of Woodpeckers Present in america! (2023)

What sorts of woodpeckers can you discover in america?

types of woodpeckers in  

Regardless of the place you reside in america, you’ll be able to see a big number of woodpeckers. Most individuals are stunned at the wide range of species that may be discovered close to them.  

17 varieties of woodpeckers that reside in america!

Under you’ll study extra about every and the best way to establish them by sight OR sound. Take note of the vary maps to see which woodpeckers reside 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.
  • Coloration-wise, they’ve white bellies with a largely black again that options streaks and spots of white.
  • Male birds have a particular pink spot on the again of their head, which females lack.


Downy Woodpeckers are probably the most widespread woodpeckers in america!


You in all probability acknowledge them, as they’re a well-known 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 most effective 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 hear 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 tip. And for those who’re actually good, you’ll be able to attempt to establish this species by how they drum on timber, which they do when on the lookout for a mate or establishing a territory. The drumming is so quick it nearly seems like one uninterrupted sound!

Press PLAY above to listen to a Downy Woodpecker!


#2. Furry Woodpecker

Types of Woodpeckers found in United States

Figuring out Traits:

  • Their our bodies are black and white general with a protracted, chisel-like beak.
  • Male birds will be recognized by a pink patch in the back of their heads, which females lack.  


Furry Woodpeckers are widespread in america in mature forests, suburban backyards, city parks, swamps, orchards, and even cemeteries. However, truthfully, they are often discovered wherever with an abundance of huge timber.


Look-wise, Furry Woodpeckers have been in comparison with troopers, as they’ve cleanly striped heads and an erect, straight-backed posture whereas on timber. 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.

Furry Woodpecker Vary Map

Furry Woodpeckers will be difficult to establish as a result of they give the impression of being nearly similar to Downy Woodpeckers! These two birds are complicated to many individuals and current an issue when making an attempt to determine the proper species. Listed below are the THREE greatest methods to distinguish these two woodpeckers:



  • Furry’s are bigger and measure 9 – 11 inches (23-29 cm) lengthy, about the identical dimension 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.


  • Trying on the dimension 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 nearly the identical size as their head.


Outer tail feathers:

  • If all else fails, attempt to get a very good have a look at their outer tail feathers. Hairys can be fully white, whereas Downys are noticed.


Lastly, you’ll be able to hear for a Furry Woodpecker:

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


#3. Northern Flicker

Northern Glints are splendidly good-looking birds and comparatively widespread in america. They’re concerning the dimension of an American Robin and have a black bib and noticed stomach. However, relying in your location, these woodpeckers seem totally different. There are two distinct variations it’s best to look ahead to:  

Variation #1: Yellow-shafted

This sub-species is usually discovered within the japanese half of North America. These birds are characterised by pink on the again of their head and yellow feathers on their underwing and tail which might be 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’ll be able to clearly see red-orange feathers on their underwing and tail. Purple-shafted Northern Glints even have a largely 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 combination of each options.  

Northern Flicker Vary Map


To discover a Northern Flicker, it’s best to look on the bottom! These birds are distinctive and don’t act like typical woodpeckers. They spend plenty of time looking for ants and beetles on the forest ground by digging by the grime! They hammer away on the soil identical to different woodpeckers drill into timber.


Northern Glints are pretty straightforward to establish by sound! Pay attention for a loud ringing name that seems 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 pink crest on the highest of their heads.
  • Males have a pink stripe on their cheeks, whereas the stripe is black on females.


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

Pileated Woodpecker Vary Map


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


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


#5. Purple-bellied Woodpecker

Common Woodpeckers species in United States

Figuring out Traits:

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


Purple-bellied Woodpeckers are considered one of my FAVORITE birds to see at hen feeders. I feel they’re beautiful with their black and white barred backs. However their identify will be complicated since their bellies don’t truly comprise a lot pink coloring apart from an vague pink wash.  

Purple-bellied Woodpecker Vary Map



Apparently, it has been decided that Purple-bellied Woodpeckers are probably the most dominant birds at feeders. They not often again down from some other hen. I can attest to this reality, as I generally see them warding off quite a few starlings at a time by aggressively making an attempt to stab these invasive birds with their invoice!


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

The tongue’s finish is sticky and barbed, which helps them seize bugs from deep crevices inside timber. 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 study its calls! It’s widespread to listen to them in forests, wooded suburbs, and parks. Pay attention 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 pink crown and black and white striped face. Males have a pink throat, whereas females are white!
  • Because the identify suggests, most people have a yellowish-white stomach. 


This migratory woodpecker is discovered within the japanese United States in younger deciduous forests. They want habitats with many rising timber, 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 totally 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 dwelling timber, neatly organized into rows. These holes turn into sap wells, which slowly leak sap that’s eagerly eaten.  


Sap wells are even necessary 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 usually repeated.


#7. Purple-headed Woodpecker

  • Melanerpes erythrocephalus

Figuring out Traits:

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


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


Sadly, populations of Purple-headed Woodpeckers have declined in america by over 70% prior to now 50 years! The primary wrongdoer is habitat loss as a result of destruction of big beech forests, which produce beechnuts, considered one of their favourite meals. As well as, and for aesthetic causes, most individuals lower down useless timber, which these woodpeckers rely on for nesting cavities.

Purple-headed Woodpecker Vary Map


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


When you occur to search out your self within the right habitat, be certain that to hear for one! Their commonest name is a shrill “tchur,” which sounds much like a Purple-bellied Woodpecker, besides it’s a bit extra higher-pitched and doesn’t roll as a lot.  


#8. Purple-cockaded Woodpecker


Apparently, though the identify suggests in any other case, Purple-cockaded Woodpeckers don’t have a lot pink plumage on their physique! Solely the males have an extraordinarily tiny, nearly invisible pink 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 at the moment are laborious to search out in america. They have been even added to the Endangered Species checklist in 1970.  

Purple-cockaded Woodpecker Vary Map


The issue for these birds is that they’re habitat specialists, as they strongly desire dwelling in Longleaf Pine forests. Sadly, any such tree has been extensively logged all through a lot of the southeast and changed with different pine species.


These birds have an attention-grabbing approach of deterring rat snakes, which climb timber 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 laborious for the snakes to ascend!  


Purple-cockaded Woodpeckers are very vocal! The most effective-known sound is an alarm name, which seems 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 in terms of woodpeckers.


  For instance, listed below are a number of attributes that these birds possess:  

  • Lewis’s Woodpeckers look totally different and are bulkier than different species of woodpecker. Each men and women have a inexperienced again, pink physique, grey collar, and a pink face patch! I feel it seems to be like Christmas determined to make a woodpecker! 🙂
  • It’s extraordinarily uncommon to search out these birds drilling right into a tree on the lookout for wood-boring bugs. As a substitute, they catch bugs in midair by ready patiently from a perch, much like flycatchers.
  • Lastly, Lewis’s Woodpeckers fly utilizing gradual, deep wingbeats and incessantly 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, 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 pink crown.
  • Male birds have a pink throat and pink nape (again of the neck).
  • Females even have a pink throat, however there may be additionally a small white patch just below the invoice, and their nape will be white or pink.


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


To slurp up sap, these migratory woodpeckers have a specialised tongue. Consider it or not, they’ve stiff hairs on the ends, which helps drink the sap extra successfully. The sap wells they create are necessary to them, and so they spend plenty 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 hassle differentiating between sapsucker species, please know you could be taking a look at a hybrid!


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


#11. Williamson’s Sapsucker

Figuring out Traits:

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


Williamson’s Sapsuckers are widespread 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 totally different! This attribute is uncommon in woodpeckers, the place each sexes usually seem comparable. The truth is, 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 timber, referred to as sap wells, which permit the sugary liquid to movement. Williamson’s Sapsuckers ONLY eat sap from conifer timber, leaving deciduous timber alone.  


On the subject 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 america, American Three-toed Woodpeckers reside amongst conifer timber.

Particularly, these birds are present in disturbed areas, equivalent to coniferous forests, which have been broken by fires, wind storms, or floods. These locations have plenty of useless timber and limbs, which are a magnet for beetle larvae that these woodpeckers feast on!

American Three-toed Woodpecker Vary Map

One attention-grabbing reality about this hen 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 timber till items of bark break off, which provides them entry to the bugs (and generally sap) beneath. indication that these birds are within the space is that if you’ll find a tree with patches of darkish outer bark and lighter internal bark.


In-flight, you might also hear a descending rattle, which has similarities in sound to a kingfisher. Their typical name is a gentle, 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 you might want to do is use forests which have been burned inside the final eight years!


These woodpeckers are habitat specialists and find lately burned areas simply weeks after the fireplace blazes by. These birds feast on the wood-boring beetles that begin infesting the useless timber. 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 seems 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 dimension as a Downy Woodpecker (I feel they give the impression of being comparable).
  • Males have a pink crown, which females lack.  


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

Ladder-backed Woodpecker Vary Map


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


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


#15. Purple-breasted Sapsucker

Figuring out Traits:

  • Search for a medium-sized hen with a pink head, pink 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 timber to eat the sugary liquid that leaks out. Their favourite timber 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


Apparently, Rufous Hummingbirds are likely to observe Purple-breasted Sapsuckers round. These tiny birds get pleasure from feeding on the sap the sapsuckers get flowing and are even identified 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 search out within the western United States.

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


These woodpeckers depend on acorns as considered 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” timber.  


These timber, additionally referred to 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 house that different animals have issue getting them out. And amazingly, all of those tiny holes don’t kill the tree! However you probably have a home with wooden siding, and these woodpeckers have found it, you’ll have a tough time eliminating them. 🙂  

Acorn Woodpecker Vary Map


Acorn Woodpeckers even have extremely fascinating and complicated social lives. For instance, they reside 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 certain that to hear for Acorn Woodpeckers if you end up climbing in an oak forest. Calls resemble “waka-waka-waka.”


#17. White-headed Woodpecker

On the subject of woodpeckers present in america, this species is exclusive!  


First, the White-headed Woodpecker has a very distinctive look. The hen’s whole physique is roofed in black feathers, aside from its daring white head! One look, and you know the way it bought its identify. Males have a small pink 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 get hold of 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, equivalent to ants, beetles, and termites, like regular woodpeckers. And for those who reside inside their vary, be certain that to place out a suet feeder, as they may go to backyards that provide a constant meals supply.


White-head Woodpeckers have a name that seems like a pointy “pee-dink” or “pee-dee-dee-dink.” Nevertheless it’s not typically heard, as these birds are largely silent.


Which varieties of woodpeckers have you ever seen earlier than in america?


Depart a remark beneath! 


To study extra about different birds close to you, take a look at these guides!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *