Types of Woodpeckers Found in North America

There are many types of woodpeckers commonly found in North American. The western region hosts the most woodpecker species-nine exclusively, whereas the eastern region only has one exclusive species-the Red-cockaded Woodpecker.

Eleven species are found in both western and eastern regions, although some are only seen in the mid-south of North America.

Western Woodpecker Birds & Habitat Preferences

  • Lewis Woodpecker (foothills, farmlands, dry open woods and orchards)
  • Acorn Woodpecker (oak and pine woods or suburbs)
  • Gila Woodpecker (deserts, suburbs in dry regions, dry streams)
  • Red-naped Sapsucker (woods, orchards)
  • Red-Breasted Sapsucker (moist woodlands)
  • Williamson's Sapsucker (coniferous forests, especially Ponderosa Pine)
  • Nuttall's Woodpecker (shrub-lands, along streams, oak woodlands)
  • Strickland Woodpecker (canyons, oak woods and pine woods)
  • White-headed Woodpecker (coniferous woods in mountains)

Eastern Woodpecker Birds & Habitat Preferences

  • Red-cockaded Woodpecker (mature piney woods)

Woodpecker Birds Found in Both Regions

  • Red-headed Woodpecker (open woods, suburbs, orchards and farmlands)
  • Golden-fronted Woodpecker (parks, gardens, woodlands)
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (woods and orchards)
  • Downy Woodpecker (farmlands, woods, suburbs)
  • Hairy Woodpecker (farmlands, woods and suburbs)
  • Northern Flicker (woodlands, farmlands, parks and suburbs)
  • Ladder-backed Woodpecker (creeks, farmlands, suburbs, arid and semi-arid brush-lands)
  • Black-toed Woodpecker (boreal (northern zone) coniferous forests)
  • Three-toed Woodpecker (boreal coniferous forests)
  • Pileated Woodpecker (mature forests and suburbs)
  • Gilded Flicker (dry foothills and lowlands)

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker
In 2004, a sighting of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis) was reported in Arkansas. This woodpecker has been considered extinct for many years. Many ornithologists swarmed to the area for a chance to see the bird. Ivory-billed woodpeckers were once abundant in the southern states from North Carolina to Florida, over to Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kentucky.

The ivory-billed woodpecker averaged 20 inches tall and was named for the hard, white keratin sheath over its bone bill.

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