7 Gorgeous Woodpeckers In Ohio: You Must Know About

Woodpeckers In Ohio

The Buckeye State has a remarkably diversified environment and a vast spectrum of bird habitats. The large open fields, marshes, ponds, lakes, woods, and forests provide a bird-watching paradise. Ohio is one of the greatest spots in the United States to watch birds all year.

Ohio has a wide range of woodpeckers. And In this article, I’ll list and explain all the woodpeckers in Ohio. I’ll cover all the aspects (identification, habitat, diet, traits, 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 OhioLengthWeightIdentification(Color)Diet/Favorite Food
Red-bellied Woodpecker23-27 cm72 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.
Downy Woodpecker 14-17 cm21-28 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.
Hairy Woodpecker7.1-10.2 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. 
Pileated Woodpecker15.8-19.3 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.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker7.1-8.7 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 
Northern Flicker 30-35 cm120 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.
Red-headed Woodpecker7.5-9.1 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

The 7 Types Of Woodpeckers In Ohio: In Detail

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied woodpeckers have red bellies with scarcely discernible red tints, while male red-bellied woodpeckers have redheads.

Some inexperienced bird observers may mistakenly classify them as red-headed since their bellies are rarely crimson.

The remainder of their body is a crosshatch of black and white stripes that is rather intriguing. Their name comes from a faintly colored region on their belly that seems to have been touched with blush.

They are one of the most common woodpecker species, and they may be seen across Ohio at any time of year. Researchers and bird watchers have noticed that their range is expanding to the north every year.

Their cry is also distinct enough that you will remember it once you hear it, so take a few moments to listen to it.

They like to stay in deciduous woods or suburban areas and are frequently drawn to bird feeders, especially those holding peanuts and sunflower seeds.

Downy Woodpecker

downy woodpecker

Ohio is home to both the smallest and biggest woodpeckers in North America, with downy woodpeckers being on the smaller end of the spectrum.

Downy woodpeckers have two black columns on either side of their upper back, with a broad white swath in the middle, and are black and white. Swirls of white specks on black make up their wings.

A red mark on the back of the neck of male downy woodpeckers can be seen. Downy woodpeckers prefer deciduous woodlands in Ohio, in contrast to downy woodpeckers in the southern United States, who prefer houses near rivers.

They are cavity nesters, and since they are so little, they prefer to dig holes in tree limbs rather than digging into tree trunks.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy woodpeckers are fascinating because they resemble downy woodpeckers so closely. If you’re having problems telling the difference between the two species, as many bird observers do, there are a few indications that could help.

Hairy woodpeckers are bigger than downy woodpeckers, and because of their larger size, they typically nest in larger trees and consume insects off them.

Hairy woodpeckers also seem to have an inexhaustible supply of energy when it comes to dining, and they have been known to dive deep into trees to retrieve their favored food source, wood-boring insect larvae.

Aside from extreme northern Canada and the extreme southern United States, they have a greater range than downy woodpeckers and may be found all throughout the United States and Canada.

If you believe you’re witnessing a huge, active downy woodpecker, you’re most likely seeing a hairy woodpecker.

Pileated Woodpecker


North American giants are pileated woodpeckers. They are impossible to overlook since, in addition to their enormous size, they feature a big red plume on top of their heads.

Whether you find a set of holes in a tree and want to know if they’re from a pileated woodpecker, look at the shape of the holes. If they’re rectangular, you’ve got a pileated woodpecker nearby.

They are one of the most active excavators among North American woodpeckers, digging into dead trees in search of carpenter ants and termites.

Although they are significantly less prevalent in Ohio than in the southeast, you should be able to discover them since they are so difficult to miss when they are around.

Their dwellings are very immediately visible, as a vast hole is required to host such a gigantic bird. 

They also consume fruits and berries, and for a bird of their size, they can balance on little vines and plants more easily than you might believe.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

yellow bellied sapsucker

Yellow-bellied sapsuckers divide Ohio in half, with sightings occurring exclusively during migratory stops during the winter in the northern half and some yellow-bellied sapsuckers residing in the southern half at the end of their migratory journey.

Although sapsuckers seldom stay in Ohio on their migratory voyage, many will proceed as far south as Cuba or the Bahamas, it is conceivable for them to spend the winter in the Cincinnati suburbs. 

Males have red throats, while females have yellow throats, and yellow-bellied sapsuckers have yellow bellies. The remainder of their body is speckled in black and white.

Yellow-bellied sapsuckers, as the name implies, feed primarily on sap from deciduous trees, which they get by drilling horizontal rows of holes that enable sap to flow out of the tree.

This sap will also attract insects, who will enjoy the same sweetness as the sapsuckers, and these woodpeckers will eat them.

As the sap from the tree continues to drain, yellow-bellied sapsuckers will return to the spots where they sucked sap many times a day.

Northern Flicker

Northern flickers are a unique kind of woodpecker because they do not behave like other woodpeckers. Northern flickers will hop along the ground in search of insects like ants, rather than digging trees for bugs.

They will drum on trees from time to time, but primarily to communicate rather than to hunt insects. Northern flickers may be found practically everywhere in the United States and Canada, as well as areas of Mexico and Central America, demonstrating their adaptability to a variety of temperatures.

The eastern variant of northern flickers, which is found in Ohio, has yellow on their tails as well as the typical northern flicker features of white bellies with black dots and a red patch on top of their heads.

Red-Headed Woodpecker

As the name suggests these woodpeckers have a redhead and a black and white body. Red-headed Woodpeckers have a robust spike beak and are medium in size.

They have short tails, white undersides, black backs, and huge white bands on their wings. They are capable of strong territorial defense, including removing or killing the eggs of other birds or ducks.

Red-headed Woodpeckers, like other woodpeckers, collect insects in flight as well as in crevices.

A red-headed woodpecker can be easily found in Ohio and spotting them is also very easy.

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