Red-headed Woodpecker

Melanerpes erythrocephalus

Order

PICIFORMES

Family

Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Code 4

RHWO

Code 6

MELERY

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Red-headed Woodpecker has a large range, inhabiting much of the eastern half of the United States. Native to the United States and Canada, this bird prefers temperate, subtropical, or tropical forest and grassland ecosystems as well as savannas and even rural and urban areas. The global population of this bird is not specifically quantified but shows significant and rapid signs of decline that necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Red-headed Woodpecker is Near Threatened.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Red-headed Woodpecker: Medium-sized woodpecker with black upperparts and tail, and white underparts and rump. The head, throat, and upper breast are dark red. Wings are black with large white patches. Bill, legs and feet are black. This is the only woodpecker in the east with a completely red head.


Range and Habitat

Red-headed Woodpecker: This species breeds in temperate, open habitats ranging from southern Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Quebec south to Florida and the Gulf Coast. They are scarce in northeastern states and spend winters in southern part of breeding range from the Midwest south to Texas and Florida.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"queark","queer,queer,queer","kerr-uck,kerr-uck"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Red-headed Woodpecker forages for food rather than excavate holes to find insects.
  • It is the only woodpecker that covers its cache of food with bark or wood. Grasshoppers are stored alive, wedged so tightly in a crevice escape is impossible.
  • This bird was featured on a United States Postal Service 2-cent stamp in 1996.
  • A group of woodpeckers has many collective nouns, including a "descent", "drumming", and "gatling" of woodpeckers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Red-headed Woodpecker

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Samira Belous

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X