Minnesota has a wide range of woodpeckers. And In this article, I’ll list and explain all the woodpeckers in Minnesota. I’ll cover all the details (identification, habitat, traits, diet, etc).
Note: If you’re short on time I have compiled a table of all the woodpeckers with identification and their Diet. You can also read about these woodpeckers in detail below.
|Woodpeckers in Minnesota||Length||Weight||Identification(Color)||Diet/Favorite Food|
|Red-bellied Woodpecker||23-27 cm||72 gm (2.5oz)||A pale red belly with a red cap b&w stripped back.||Insects, spiders, nuts, seeds, acorns, pine cones, grapes, oranges, hackberries, mangoes, sunflower seeds, and peanuts.|
|Red-headed Woodpecker||7.5-9.1 in (19-23 cm)||2.0-3.2 oz (56-91 g)||These birds have a bright-red head with white underparts and black backs.||Mostly nuts, seeds, fruits, and berries|
|Pileated Woodpecker||15.8-19.3 in (40-49 cm)||8.8-12.3 oz (250-350 g)||This woodpecker has a black body with white stripes on the face and neck and a flaming-red crest.||Mostly insects and flies.|
|Hairy Woodpecker||7.1-10.2 in (18-26 cm)||1.4-3.4 oz (40-95 g)||These are black and white birds. ; The head of this bird has two white stripes. The black wings are checkered with white.||Mostly insects, berries, seeds, and nuts.|
|Downy Woodpecker||14-17 cm||21-28 gm (0.74-0.98oz)||They are b&w in color with patches of red here and there. They are found in woodlots, in backyards, and along streams.||Insects, beetle larvae, acorns, berries and grains, black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, millets.|
|Northern Flicker||30-35 cm||120 gm(4.23oz)||Large woodpeckers, with a size in between crows and Robins, with brown body color and black spots, bars, and crescents all over their bodies along with a red nape. They also have hints of yellow on their bodies as well.||Black oil sunflower seeds are their favorite.|
|Yellow-bellied Sapsucker||7.1-8.7 in (18-22 cm)||1.5-1.9 oz (43-55 g)||This woodpecker is black and white with a boldly patterned face. Both males and females have red foreheads, and males also have red throats.||Mostly feed on tree sap, Arthropods, fruits, and nuts|
|American Three-toed Woodpecker||8.3-9.1 in (21-23 cm)||1.6-2.4 oz (44.8-67.9 g)||This woodpecker has an overall black and white body. And a yellow patch on the forehead. The back of this woodpecker is black with white spotted wings.||Mostly feed on insects.|
|Black-backed Woodpecker||9.1 in (23 cm)||2.1-3.1 oz (61-88 g)||This woodpecker has an Inky black upper body and white lower body with fine black barring on the flanks.||Mostly insects|
9 Types Of Woodpeckers In Minnesota: In Detail
Male red-bellied woodpeckers have bright red heads and bellies. In female Red-bellied Woodpeckers, just the back of the neck and not the top of the head are red.
Inexperienced bird watchers may mistake them for red-headed since their bellies are seldom crimson.
The rest of their body is a stunning crosshatch pattern of black and white stripes. Their name refers to a flushed, slightly colored patch on their abdomen.
At first look, their red heads are visible but avoid the urge to mistake them with Red-headed Woodpeckers.
Red-bellied Woodpeckers have a scarlet abdomen, but it’s a light red that might go unnoticed when perched against a tree or feeder.
To identify them, look for black and white barred wings and a red mohawk along their neck.
They prefer deciduous woodlands or suburban settings and are often drawn to bird feeders, especially those containing peanuts and sunflower seeds.
The flaming redheads and unique black and white markings of these woodpeckers make them easy to identify. The Red-headed Woodpecker is a medium-sized bird with a powerful spike beak.
They have short tails, white undersides, black backs, and massive white bands on their wings. They have strong territorial defense abilities, including the capacity to steal or destroy other birds’ or ducks’ eggs.
Red-headed Woodpeckers, like other woodpeckers, collect insects both in flight and in crevices.
Both male and female Red-headed woodpeckers have similar appearances. Juveniles, on the other hand, have dark hair with no red highlights.
If you see a drab woodpecker with a Red-headed Woodpecker, it’s most likely a mother and her young ones.
One-third of their food consists of insects such as beetles, midges, honey bees, and grasshoppers. Plant components such as seeds, nuts, and berries make up the remaining two-thirds.
If you want to attract Red-headed woodpeckers to your yard then feed them seeds apples, berries, and grapes.
The flaming-red triangular crest of the Pileated Woodpecker distinguishes it. It’s a huge woodpecker, roughly the size of a crow. The white underside of the wings may be seen when it is flying.
It’s largely black, with a white stripe running down the middle. Males have a more prominent red stripe on their cheeks.
A red spot on the cheek of male Pileated Woodpeckers is common. The red mark on the cheek of female Pileated Woodpeckers is absent.
The crest is the most noticeable feature. The male and female crests are both fiery red and triangle-shaped, but the males are longer and extend all the way to the beak, whilst the females do not reach beyond the forecrown.
Pileated Woodpeckers consume carpenter ants, termites, beetle larvae, and other insects, as well as fruit and nuts such as blackberries, sumac berries, dogwood, and elderberry. They create both a loud whiny scream and a forceful pounding sound.
Pileated Woodpeckers eat suet from bird feeders in the backyard. In addition to black oil sunflower seeds, they consume hulled sunflower seeds, suet, peanuts, and mealworms. Consider creating a nest box if you wish to attract a breeding couple.
These medium-sized woodpeckers have a black and white pattern on their backs, as well as a huge white patch. A crimson flare appears on the backs of the males’ skulls.
It is similar to the Downy woodpecker, but it is bigger. They’re tough to distinguish because they regularly appear in the same places.
They are tiny, strong birds with a whinnying or explosive peak sound that can be spotted at backyard feeders.
Although both male and female pileated woodpeckers tap into trees in quest of ants and other delectable insects, only male hairy woodpeckers create nest holes.
As females prepare to deposit their eggs at the end of the season, the male will assist in putting the final touches on the nest and organizing the remaining wood chips.
Hairy Woodpeckers eat beetle larvae, ants, and bark beetles, as well as bees, caterpillars, spiders, moth pupae, and millipedes.
Furthermore, black oil sunflower seeds attract more Hairy Woodpeckers to your yard, and combining them with suet in a fantastic suet and hopper feeder provides you with two feeders in one.
Despite its resemblance to the Hairy Woodpecker, it is one-third the size and has a smaller beak than other Woodpeckers.
Downy Woodpeckers are more likely to be seen at a feeder since they are more common.
The Downy Woodpecker’s black and white patterning on the back is primarily black with a white patch. A red mark may also be seen on the backs of the males’ heads.
A red patch on the back of the head distinguishes male Downy Woodpeckers. They’re also a little smaller than Hairy Woodpeckers. Female Downy Woodpeckers do not have a red patch on their heads.
Small birds like nuthatches and chickadees are regularly observed with Downy Woodpeckers. They can be seen in open woodlands, parks, orchards, and backyards, although they are most frequently observed at bird feeders. They’re also common among tall weeds.
Downy Woodpeckers can be seen at bird feeders in the backyard. They are quite active, emitting a high-pitched pik sound as well as a descending wailing cry.
Insects, particularly larvae, as well as nuts, berries, acorns, and grains, are consumed by downy woodpeckers.
When flying, Northern Flickers have a yellow flash in their wings and tails, a white patch on their rump, and a red nape of the neck in males. They’re enormous brown woodpeckers with black patches on their backs.
Male Northern Flickers have a mustache that goes from their beak to their neck and is either black or red depending on whether they are from the east or west. The female Northern Flicker lacks a mustache.’
Northern Flickers have a piercing screech and a loud ringing cry. They feed mostly on ants and beetles, but they also eat fruits and seeds that they dig up on the ground with their bent snout.
Northern Flickers prefer birdbaths over bird feeders, so investing in a beautiful pedestal birdbath or a heated birdbath is the ideal answer for the winter.
Using suet cages, huge hoppers, or platform feeders, feed black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, suet, broken maize, peanuts, and millet.
It is around the size of a robin and is rather little. Males are mostly black, with red brows and scarlet throats. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers dig holes in trees to obtain sap with their brush-tipped tongues.
The male Yellow-bellied sapsucker has a red neck, while the female has a white neck. Yellow-bellied male Sapsuckers have bright red throats. The throats of female yellow-bellied sapsuckers are white.
In juvenile paper birch, yellow birch, red or sugar maple, and hickory trees, they develop crisp horizontal rows of holes. To let the sap flow, the holes must be kept clean.
Young deciduous forests on birch and maple trees are prevalent, with sap wells created in tidy rows to feed.
American Three-toed Woodpecker
American Three-toed Woodpeckers are uncommon in Minnesota, but they can be seen all year in the state’s northeast.
American Three-toed Male woodpeckers have a yellow patch on their forehead and are little black-and-white woodpeckers.
They have mostly black backs with a white patch and white markings on the wings. The bottom is mostly white with minor black banding.
American Three-toed Woodpeckers mostly feed on beetle larvae, but they also consume ant larvae, moth pupae, and spiders.
They peck and strike the tree bark to discover the larvae and spend a long time on each tree. They occasionally drill sap wells to sip the sap.
American Three-toed Woodpeckers build their nests in tree cavities and lay 3–7 eggs. Except during the mating season, they are mostly solitary birds, however, they may couple with the same partner numerous times.
Three-toed American Woodpeckers can be found in mature coniferous woods with dead or decaying trees. Sometimes, bark peeling can be visible on the trees. It is rarely seen at backyard feeders.
They are little and difficult to see, since they are only robin-sized, with a black back that helps them blend in. Their sides are striped in black and white, while their underbelly is predominantly white. Males have yellow on their heads.
It feeds mostly on wood-boring beetle larvae, especially in recently burnt woodlands.
This is accomplished by flaking the bark off dead trees, therefore charred woodlands are your best option for sighting the Black-backed Woodpecker. They just make one sharp pik call.
This is one of the few woodpeckers with three toes rather than the majority of species, which have four. They look like the American Three-toed Woodpecker but lack the white patch on their backs.
The Black-backed Woodpecker can be found in woods that have burned in the past. Because they eat largely beetle larvae in burnt forests, Black-backed Woodpeckers are rarely observed at feeders.
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