9 Types of Woodpeckers In New York: You Must Know About

Woodpeckers In New York

With the thousands of bird species in the world, every bird is unique in its features, be it feathers, colors, habitat, or diet.

The habitat of the birds can be different as per the species and the same stands true for woodpeckers. In New York, there are almost 9 woodpeckers that can be spotted.

Many times we spot a woodpecker but weren’t able to identify the exact species. In this article, we have mentioned those 9 woodpeckers species that can be spotted in the New York state. 

Woodpeckers In New York

Downy Woodpecker

downy woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker is the smallest woodpecker species in New York and North America.

Downy Species can be frequently seen in New York and generally, they are Hairy Woodpeckers having a black & white pattern, and a white patch on their back.

The male Downy woodpeckers have a red patch on their heads. Generally, the length of these woodpeckers is between 14.5cm to 17cm, and their weight of 21g to 28g. 

They have a wingspan of 25cm to 30cm. Downy woodpeckers can be seen throughout the year.

When it comes to their nesting habits, they generally nest in dead trees cavities and hunt insects from the same location. Their diet consists of grains, acorns, berries, and nuts. 

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker is generally found in the southern regions of the New York State but they breed in the northern part of the state.

Viewing these birds is possible year-round, just in various parts of the state. They have a length of 28cm to 31cm and weighs around 120g. The wingspan of these birds is from 50cm to 55cm. 

These birds have a flash of yellow on their tails and wings and can be identified by their red napes on the neck and white patches on their rumps.

Northern Flickers have colorful plumage which shows that these birds have many contrasting colors. When comes to the diet of these birds, consists of beetles and ants but they can eat seeds and fruits. 

Red-Headed Woodpecker

The Red-Headed Woodpecker is another bird that can be found year-round in New York. But the best time to see these birds is the summer during which they hang around the forests.

They have a length of 19.4cm to 23.5cm with a weight between 56g to 91g. Their wingspan is between 33 cm to 37cm.

They have a bright red head, white undersides, simple black & white marking, and black bands on their wings. 

When comes to the diet of Red-Headed Woodpeckers includes insects like honeybees, beetles, and grasshoppers which they catch from the trees.

But it makes up one-third diet and the rest diet consists of nuts, seeds, and berries. 

Pileated Woodpecker


The Pileated Woodpecker is a year-round woodpecker that is counted as the largest woodpecker in New York.

They can be spotted in the southern forests and hills of the state during the summer.

The length of these birds is 40cm to 49cm and weighs around 250g to 350g. The wingspan of these woodpeckers is around 66cm to 75cm.

These woodpeckers have a flaming-red triangular head crest, black & white stripes on their underside, and a red stripe on the cheek of the males.

When it comes to the diet of the pileated woodpeckers, includes carpenter ants that are fallen from logs and dead trees, nuts, fruit, larvae, and termites. 

Red-bellied woodpecker

The Red-bellied woodpecker is a bird that is also spotted year-round and is observed in the eastern and western portions of the state.

However, these species are often mistaken for Red-headed Woodpeckers because they have red caps. But to notice, these birds are significantly smaller than the Red-headed woodpeckers.

The length of these birds is between 23cm to 27cm and it weighs around 56g to 91g. The wingspan of these birds includes 33cm to 42cm. 

The female red-bellied woodpeckers can be identified by the red cape without red on the crown. Both male and female red-bellied woodpeckers have white & black markings across their backs.

These woodpeckers can be found at the bird feeders in the wooded areas. Their diet consists of insects, seeds, nuts, fruit, and spiders. 

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

The other year-round bird in New York is Hairy Woodpecker and it can be found in woodland areas. These birds are of the length of 25cm to 35cm and weigh 43g to 99g.

The wingspan of these birds is 38cm. When it comes to the appearance of these birds, they have a large patch on their back and a black & white pattern across the body.

These birds are very much similar to the Downy woodpecker but they are larger. Even both of these birds stay in the same habitat which makes it difficult to tell them apart.

Hairy Woodpeckers’ diet consists of insects like ants, larvae, bark beetles, bees, caterpillars, and spiders.  

Yellow-billed Sapsucker

yellow bellied sapsucker

The Yellow-billed Sapsucker species of Woodpecker can also be found in New York State and it is similar to the size of a robin.

They have a length of 21cm to 22cm which weigh between 43g to 55g and a wingspan of 34cm to 40cm.

Spotting these birds year-round is possible in New York. These species have a red forehead and red throat with a black body. 

These woodpeckers chisel holes in the trees and consume sap by sticking out their tongues.

These birds make a horizontal row on hickory, red maple, sugar, yellow birch, and young paper birch trees. Generally, these birds breed in deciduous forests where they feed also. 

Black-backed Woodpecker

The Black-backed woodpeckers are 23cm and weigh between 61g to 88g. The wingspan of these birds is between 40cm to 42cm.

Spotting these birds is difficult but they stay year-round in the New York state. These birds feature black and white stripes on their undercarriage and possess a white belly.

The adult male Black-backed woodpecker has a yellow cap. When it comes to their diet, their diet generally consists of wood-boring beetle larvae and they find their food by pulling the bark from the dead trees. 

American Three-toed Woodpecker

American Three-toed Woodpeckers are the yellow cap woodpeckers with one black stripe near their beak, blackhead, black ad white flanks, white belly & throat, black rump, and wings.

These birds are of length 21cm to 23cm and they weigh between 45g to 68g. The wingspan of these birds is between 37cm to 39cm. 

Spotting these birds is rare but they are present all year round in the New York state. They can be commonly found in coniferous forests with dying trees near water.

The diet of these birds includes a variety of insects such as spruce beetles, wood-boring beetle larvae, and fruit & tree sap. They generally find these insects by pecking the tree bark. 

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