Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Dryobates borealis




Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:

2 - 5

Incubation Days:

10 - 15

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

12 - 70 feet above ground., In tree hole.

Nest Material:

Dried wood chips.





Red-cockaded Woodpecker: Medium-sized woodpecker with black-and-white barred back, black cap and nape, white face, throat, and breast, and black-spotted sides, flanks, and belly. Dark eye-line terminates in a small, red cockade at rear of cap. Wings are black with white bars; tail is black with black-spotted white outer feathers. Female is similar but lacks red cockade.

Range and Habitat

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: Historically, resident from southeastern Oklahoma and Maryland to the Gulf Coast and central Florida; classified as endangered throughout its current range in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Found in pinelands; requires old-growth trees for habitat.

Breeding and Nesting

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: Two to five white eggs are laid in a living pine tree cavity lined with dried wood chips. Nest is built 12 to 70 feet above the ground primarily by the male and helpers, who are usually males from the previous breeding season. Incubation ranges from 10 to 15 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: Eats insects, berries, and nuts; forages by drilling for insects on trunks of pine trees, circling tree as it climbs.

Readily Eats



Red-cockaded Woodpecker: Call is a "yank, yank", a hoarse "stripp", or a high-pitched "tsick."

Similar Species

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: Hairy Woodpecker has a black ear patch, white back, unmarked white underparts, unmarked white outer tail feathers, and different voice.

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.
The upper front part of a bird.
The area on top of the head of the bird.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X