Picoides albolarvatus
(White-headed Woodpecker)


Order: Piciformes
Order Description: Woodpeckers
Family: Picidae
Family Description: Woodpeckers

Physical Description:
9-9 1/4" (23 cm). Small woodpecker. Mainly black with front of head white (our only woodpecker with a white head), white throat, and large white wing patch; no white on the rump. Male has red patch on napeClick word for definition.

Similar Species- Hairy Woodpecker, Male Acorn Woodpecker

Song:
Calls include a sharp pee-dik, sometimes rapidly repeated; also a rattle similar to Downy and Nuttall's Woodpeckers. Drum is a short even series.

Distribution:
Resident from south-central British Columbia, north-central Washington and northern Idaho, south through Oregon (east of Cascades) to southern California and west-central Nevada.

Habitat:
Found in montane coniferous forests (primarily pine and fir). Usually found at elevations of 1200-2800 m during nesting season, but may descend to lower elevations during winter. In Idaho, species is restricted to mature or old ponderosa pine and mixed coniferous forests.

Diet:
Eats seeds of ponderosa and sugar pine, spiders, beetles, ants, fly larvae, and other insects.

Ecology:
Constructs nesting cavity in standing snag/hollow tree; may use same tree year after year. Forages mainly on trunks of living conifers by prying off loose bark to obtain food. But may also obtain food in air. Idaho study located nests in ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir snags in habitats ranging from dry meadows to partial cuts to forest edges.

Reproduction:
Both sexes incubateClick word for definition 4- 5 eggs. Nestlings are altricialClick word for definition, and are tended by both adults.

Conservation:
Element Code: ABNYF07070
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S2
National Rank: N4

Important State References:
Frederick, G.P. and T.L. Moore. 1991. Distribution and habitat of white-headed woodpeckers (Picoides albolarvatus) in west-central Idaho. Idaho Dept. Fish & Game, Boise. 32pp.


Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.