14 Gorgeous Woodpeckers In Texas: You Must Know About

Woodpeckers In Texas

Texas has a wide variety of woodpeckers. And In this article, I’ll list and explain all the woodpeckers in Texas. I’ll cover all the details of their diets, identification, and traits.

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 TexasLengthWeightIdentification(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.
Golden-Fronted Woodpecker8.7-10.2 in (22-26 cm)2.6-3.5 oz (73-99 g)This woodpecker has golden napes and nasal tufts with grayish-brown heads and bodies. The wings are of a black-and-white barred pattern.Mostly insects, fruits, and nuts.
Ladder-Backed Woodpecker6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm)0.7-1.7 oz (21-48 g)This woodpecker has a black-and-white on its upper body, with stripes like ladder rungs on the back. The wings have a checkered pattern.They mostly eat insects with some exception of fruits. 
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.
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
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.
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 
Acorn Woodpecker7.5-9.1 in (19-23 cm)2.3-3.2 oz (65-90 g)This woodpecker has a black upper body with a red cap, creamy white face, and black patches around the bill.Mostly insects and acorns.
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. 
Red-cockaded Woodpecker7.9-9.1 in (20-23 cm)1.5-1.8 oz (42-52 g)This woodpecker is almost black and white, with a large, bright-white cheek patch. At the upper border of the cheeks, males have a tiny red patch.Mostly feed on insects, fruits, and seeds.
Red-Naped Sapsucker7.5-8.3 in (19-21 cm)1.1-2.3 oz (32-66 g)This woodpecker has an overall black and white body with a red cap, nape, and throat.  The wings have long white bars.Mostly sap and insects.
Williamson’s Sapsucker8.3-9.8 in (21-25 cm)1.6-1.9 oz (44-55 g)This woodpecker has a velvety black upper body, with a yellow belly and a white wing patch.Mostly feeds on the sap of coniferous trees and also phloem
Lewis’s Woodpecker10.2-11.0 in (26-28 cm)3.1-4.9 oz (88-138 g)This woodpecker is uniquely colored. It has a gray collar, a pink belly, a dark greenback, and a dark red face.Mostly insects, nuts, and fruits.

14 Types of Woodpeckers In Texas: In Detail

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied woodpeckers have red bellies with barely detectable red tints, while males have redheads. Because their bellies are rarely crimson, untrained bird viewers may mistake them for red-headed.

The rest of their body is a fascinating crosshatch of black and white stripes. Their name is derived from a slightly colored patch on their belly that appears to have been blushing.

They are one of the most common woodpecker species in Ohio and can be observed at any time of year. Every year, researchers and bird watchers have discovered that their range is growing to the north.

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

They like deciduous woodlands or suburban settings and are usually attracted to bird feeders, particularly ones containing peanuts and sunflower seeds.

Downy Woodpecker

downy woodpecker

Downy woodpeckers are black and white with two black columns on either side of their upper back and a largely white swath in the middle. Their wings are black and white.

Male downy woodpeckers have a red mark on the back of their necks. Downy woodpeckers in Ohio prefer deciduous forests, but downy woodpeckers in the southern United States prefer residences near rivers.

They are cavity nesters, and due to their small size, they prefer to dig holes in tree limbs rather than tree trunks.

Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Golden fronted woodpecker

Golden-fronted Woodpeckers have tan breasts, yellow napes, and a yellow patch in front of their eyes, as well as black-and-white bars on their backs. Males have a little red patch on the head, while females have a pale yellow lower belly.

Golden-fronted woodpeckers resemble Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and they struggle to protect their territory against each other in portions of Texas where their territories cross. Birds from further south in Mexico have redder heads and yellower bellies.

The Golden-fronted Woodpecker’s southern range extends from Nicaragua through Mexico, and then on to Texas and Oklahoma. They don’t follow the seasons.

The Golden-fronted Woodpecker’s diet consists of half fruit and nuts and half insects. They particularly enjoy prickly pear cactus, and their cheeks will be purple-tinged as a result of their consumption.

Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, especially oranges, are prevalent in backyards and are like fruit and jelly.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Ladder-backed Woodpeckers have a checkered pattern on their wings and a black and white ladder design on their backs. Underneath, they are whiteish-gray with subtle black patterns. Females have a black crown, while males have a red crown.

Ladder-backed Woodpeckers may be found in arid deserts and thorn woods spanning the dry southern states from California to Texas, up to southeastern Colorado, and down into Mexico. The Ladder-backed Woodpecker is not a migratory bird.

Ladder-backed Woodpeckers feed largely on insect larvae and certain adult insects like ants and caterpillars, although they will also eat cactus fruit on occasion.

The ideal time to see Ladder-backed Woodpeckers is early in the morning in February and March. When they are out defending their territories in preparation for nesting. Look for them among Joshua trees, Juniper, Willow, or Honey Mesquite in arid places.

Mealworms, black oil sunflower seed, and peanut butter are some of the favorite food of Ladder-backed woodpeckers.

Pileated Woodpecker


The flaming-red triangular crest of the Pileated Woodpecker distinguishes it. It’s a massive woodpecker as big as a crow. When it is flying, the white underside of the wings may be seen.

It’s largely black with a white stripe through the middle. Males have a more obvious red stripe on their cheeks.

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 a piercing whinnying scream as well as a powerful 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.

Red-headed Woodpecker

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 strong spike beak.

Their tails are short, their undersides are white, their backs are black, and their wings have massive white bands on them. Red-headed Woodpeckers, like other woodpeckers, collect insects in flight and in cracks.

Almost a third of their food consists of beetles, midges, honey bees, and grasshoppers. The remaining two-thirds are plant components such as seeds, nuts, and berries.

Red-headed woodpecker’s favorite fruits include apples, berries, and grapes, as well as seeds and nuts.

Northern Flicker

Northern flickers are distinct from other woodpeckers in that they do not behave like other woodpeckers. Rather than excavating trees for bugs, northern flickers will bounce on the ground in search of insects like ants.

They will drum on trees from time to time, although this is more for communication than for hunting insects.

Northern flickers may be found almost anywhere in the United States and Canada, as well as in parts of Mexico and Central America, indicating their resilience to a wide range of temperatures.

The eastern version of northern flickers seen in Ohio has yellow on their tails in addition to the standard northern flicker traits of white bellies with black dots and a red patch on top of their heads.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

yellow bellied sapsucker

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

Although sapsuckers seldom stay in Ohio on their migratory journey, with many going as far south as Cuba or the Bahamas, it is possible that they will spend the winter in the Cincinnati suburbs.

Males have red throats, while females have yellow throats and yellow bellies. The rest of their physique is flecked with black and white.

This sap and insects are one of the favorite food of these woodpeckers.

Acorn Woodpecker

acorn woodpecker

Acorn Woodpeckers have clown-like features with red caps, white faces, a black patch across the beak, and black across the back of their heads and back.

They have white bellies with black patterns. Female Acorn Woodpeckers have less red on their crowns than male Acorn Woodpeckers.

Acorn Woodpeckers are distinct from other woodpeckers in that they reside in big groups and collect acorns. Living in oak woods in western Oregon, California, and Texas, as well as in Mexico and Central America.

Acorn Woodpeckers harvest acorns and other nuts from granary trees, which are masses of holes dug in dead trees over the winter.

They will even inspect stored acorns and relocate them to smaller holes once they have dried. When it comes to storage, insects are not left out, but this grisly pantry of dead bugs is frequently left in gaps or crevices. Other food sources include fruit and sap, as well as eggs, even those of their own species.

Acorn Woodpeckers are an undesirable guest since they are known to drill holes in wood siding and utility poles. If you reside near oak woodlands, you could still get a visit from them.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy woodpeckers are intriguing because they are so similar to downy woodpeckers. If you’re having trouble distinguishing between the two species, as many bird watchers do, there are a few clues that you could assist with.

Hairy woodpeckers are larger than downy woodpeckers, and because of their larger size, they usually nest on larger trees and feed on insects that fall from them.

When it comes to eating, hairy woodpeckers appear to have an endless amount of energy, and they have been known to plunge deep into trees to obtain their preferred food source, wood-boring bug larvae.

They have a wider range than downy woodpeckers and may be found all throughout the United States and Canada, with the exception of extreme northern Canada and extreme southern United States.

Red-cockaded Woodpecker

red-cockaded woodpecker

Because they are just robin-sized, they are difficult to see, and their black back helps them blend in. Their backs are striped in black and white, with the whiter underside and big white cheek patches. On the male cheek, there is a very imperceptible red line.

Red-cockaded Woodpeckers are currently endangered, with an 86 percent drop in population since 1966 owing to habitat degradation caused by harvesting of ancient longleaf pines.

Red-cockaded Woodpeckers feed on insects and larvae including ants, beetles, and centipedes when foraging in groups on pine stands.

Pine seeds, wild cherries, grapes, blueberries, and grapes are examples of seeds and fruit they will consume.

Red-cockaded woodpeckers prefer pine forests and food such as berries and if you have one of these then they’ll definitely give you a visit.

Red-Naped Sapsucker

red-naped sapsucker

Red-naped Sapsuckers are medium-sized woodpeckers that resemble both sapsuckers and other woodpeckers.

They may be distinguished from Hairy and Downy woodpeckers by a large white stripe on their wings.

They have a redhead, neck, and throat, as well as a black stripe through the eye and mottled bellies. The only difference between men and females is a white patch on the chin.

Red-naped Sapsuckers are migratory birds that breed in western US mountain forests before moving to southern Arizona, New Mexico, California, and northern Mexico.

They eat sap by drilling parallel lines of holes and lapping the sap with their tongues rather than sucking it. Ants, spiders, beetles, and flies are also eaten by them.

Red-naped Woodpeckers can visit your backyard, particularly if there are aspen, birch, or pine trees in your backyard.

Williamson’s Sapsucker

With a glossy black back, vertical wing patches, red throat, and yellow belly, Williamson’s Sapsucker males are more black than other woodpeckers. Females have a brown head and a black breast patch, as well as the more usual black and white pattern on their backs.

Williamson’s Sapsuckers are migratory birds that spend the summer breeding in the mountains of western North America and the winter in the southern United States and Mexico.

Williamson’s Sapsuckers are not abundant in Texas, although they can be spotted during migration in the Davis Mountains, and a few may spend the winter here.

In Texas, Williamson’s Sapsuckers are rarely observed at feeders.

Lewis’s Woodpecker

Lewis’s Woodpeckers have an entirely different appearance from other woodpeckers, capturing insects on the fly rather than banging on trees. To tell it’s different from its relatives, it has a pink tummy, grey collar, and black back with a dark red face.

They can be found from British Columbia in the north to California and Texas in the south. Before traveling south to the southwestern states, they tend to breed further north in British Columbia, east to Wyoming, and south to Nevada.

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