“If a bird’s nest happens to be before you along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, with the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young;” (Deuteronomy 22:6 NKJV)
This post is about the five Woodpeckers; Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus), Black-backed Three-toed Woodpecker [now the Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus)], Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) and a Common Flicker [now the Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus).
Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) “The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the biggest, most striking forest birds on the continent. It’s nearly the size of a crow, black with bold white stripes down the neck and a flaming-red crest. Look (and listen) for Pileated Woodpeckers whacking at dead trees and fallen logs in search of their main prey, carpenter ants, leaving unique rectangular holes in the wood. The nest holes these birds make offer crucial shelter to many species including swifts, owls, ducks, bats, and pine martens.” [Pileated Woodpecker – All About Birds]
Downy Woodpecker (Dryobates pubescens) – “The active little Downy Woodpecker is a familiar sight at backyard feeders and in parks and woodlots, where it joins flocks of chickadees and nuthatches, barely outsizing them. An often acrobatic forager, this black-and-white woodpecker is at home on tiny branches or balancing on slender plant galls, sycamore seed balls, and suet feeders. Downies and their larger lookalike, the Hairy Woodpecker, are one of the first identification challenges that beginning bird watchers master.” [Downy Woodpecker – All About Birds]
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) – “On a walk through the forest you might spot rows of shallow holes in tree bark. In the East, this is the work of the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, an enterprising woodpecker that laps up the leaking sap and any trapped insects with its specialized, brush-tipped tongue. Attired sharply in barred black-and-white, with a red cap and (in males) throat, they sit still on tree trunks for long intervals while feeding. To find one, listen for their loud mewing calls or stuttered drumming.” [Yellow-bellied Sapsucker – All About Birds]
Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) – “Northern Flickers are large, brown woodpeckers with a gentle expression and handsome black-scalloped plumage. On walks, don’t be surprised if you scare one up from the ground. It’s not where you’d expect to find a woodpecker, but flickers eat mainly ants and beetles, digging for them with their unusual, slightly curved bill. When they fly you’ll see a flash of color in the wings – yellow if you’re in the East, red if you’re in the West – and a bright white flash on the rump.” [Northern Flicker – All About Birds]
Previous Woodpecker Posts: