Size: 9-10"(23-25cm). A black and white woodpecker. Back glossy black. Lacks any white patterning on its back. Head glossy black with a narrow white line behind the eye and heavy white mustache. Males have a yellow cap on their head. rump and tail black. Sides heavily barred. Belly white.
Similar Species- Three-toed Woodpecker has a white ladder pattern on its back and more white behind the eye. Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers have white on their backs and lack the barred sides.
Call note is a sharp Pik! Drumming sounds like a drum roll, increasing in tempo at the end.
Resident, often locally, from western and central Alaska to northern Saskachewan and central Labrador, and south to southeastern British Columbia, central California, northwestern Wyoming, portions of Great Plains states and Prairie Provinces, and northern New England. Wanders irregularly south in winter.
Eats mainly wood- boring insects, but will also eat spiders, fruits, nuts, and some cambium.
Excavates new cavity each year, in decaying tree or standing snag. Forages on bark. Populations can be irruptive in recent burns. Few nests have been located in Idaho. In Oregon, home range size varied from 70-324 ha, and there was no intraspecific overlap.
Both sexes incubate 2- 6 eggs (usually 4) for 14 days. Young are tended by both parents.
|Status:||Protected nongame species|
Medin, D.E. 1985. Densities and nesting heights of breeding birds in a Idaho Douglas-fir forest. Northwest Sci. 59:45-52.