American Three-toed Woodpecker

Picoides dorsalis

Order

PICIFORMES

Family

Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Code 4

ATTW

Code 6

Non AOU

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

ask community
Copyright © 2004 - 2017 Mitch Waite Group

PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The American Three-toed Woodpecker has a large range that includes boreal and montane coniferous forests in Alaska, Canada, parts of northern New England, and the Rocky Mountains. The breeding population of this species is fairly large and estimated at 1,100,000 individuals. Although there has been concern that logging as well as other forestry practices would lead to the decline of this bird's population, at this time it still has an evaluation rating of Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

American Three-toed Woodpecker: Medium woodpecker with black-and-white barred upperparts, black head, yellow crown, white eye-line, throat, breast, and belly, and diagonally barred white flanks. Wings are black with white spots; rump is black; tail is black with white outer feathers.

 

Range and Habitat

American Three-toed Woodpecker: Found throughout inland Alaska, across Canada's boreal regions, through northern Saskatchewan, to north-central Labrador and Newfoundland; also has limited distribution along the Rocky Mountains south to New Mexico and Arizona. Prefers coniferous forests and burnt lands; less frequently found in mixed forests.

whatbird search for your browser

American Three-toed Woodpecker SONGS AND CALLS

American Three-toed Woodpecker A4

"Wicka" calls from a pair of birds during an aggressive encounter.

American Three-toed Woodpecker A1

Begging calls from juveniles, female "pik" calls in background.

Similar Sounding

Downy Woodpecker C2

Call is a sharp, repeated "pik".

Hairy Woodpecker E1

Contact call is a sharp "peek" note.


Voice Text

"mew", "pik"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • In 2003 the “Three-toed Woodpecker” was split into the American Three-toed and Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker. Nearly identical in appearance, they differ in voice and mitochondrial DNA sequences.
  • They breed further north than any other American woodpecker.
  • Unlike most woodpeckers, they lack the inner hind toe on each foot.
  • A group of woodpeckers has many collective nouns, including a "descent", "drumming", and "gatling" of woodpeckers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
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