8 Stunning Woodpeckers In Virginia: You Must Know About

Woodpeckers In Virginia

Virginia has a diverse range of woodpeckers. And In this article, I’ll list and explain all the woodpeckers in Virginia. I’ve covered all their traits, identification, 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 VirginiaLengthWeightIdentification(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.
Red-headed Woodpecker7.5-9.1 in (19-23 cm)2.0-3.2 oz (56-91 g)These birds have bright-red heads with white underparts and black backs.Mostly nuts, seeds, fruits, and berries
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.
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. 
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.
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 
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.

8 Types Of Woodpeckers In Virginia In Detail

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Male red-bellied woodpeckers have red heads and bellies with faint red hues. Because their bellies are seldom scarlet, inexperienced bird viewers may mistake them for red-headed.

The rest of their body is a magnificent crosshatch of black and white stripes. Their name is derived from a slightly colored patch on their abdomen that seems flushed.

At first look, their red heads are visible but avoid the urge to mistake them with Red-headed Woodpeckers.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers have a red stomach, although it is a light red that might go unnoticed when perched against a tree or feeder. To recognize them, look for black and white barred wings and a red mohawk along their neck.

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

Red-headed Woodpecker

The brilliant redheads and striking black and white patterns 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 remove or destroy other birds’ or ducks’ eggs. Red-headed Woodpeckers, like other woodpeckers, collect insects in flight as well as in cracks.

Insects like beetles, midges, honey bees, and grasshoppers account for around one-third of their food. Plant components such as seeds, nuts, and berries make up the remaining two-thirds.

Pileated Woodpecker


The flaming-red triangular crest of the Pileated Woodpecker distinguishes it. It is 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 through the middle. Males have a more prominent red stripe on their cheeks.

Pileated Woodpeckers consume carpenter ants, termites, beetle larvae, and other insects, as well as fruit and nuts including blackberries, sumac berries, dogwood, and elderberry. They create both a piercing whinnying scream and a heavy pounding sound.

Pileated Woodpeckers take suet from bird feeders in backyards. They also consume hulled sunflower seeds, suet, peanuts, and mealworms. Also, if you wish to attract a breeding couple, consider erecting a nest box.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

These medium-sized woodpeckers have a black and white pattern on their backs, as well as a huge white patch. A flash of scarlet appears on the backs of the males’ heads.

It looks similar to the Downy woodpecker, but it is bigger. They’re tough to distinguish because they’re regularly located in the same places.

They are the strong tiny bird that may be observed at backyard feeders and makes a whinnying sound or explosive peak sound.

Insects eaten by Hairy Woodpeckers include beetle larvae, ants, and bark beetles, as well as bees, caterpillars, spiders, moth pupae, and millipedes. 

Additionally, black oil sunflower seeds attract more Hairy Woodpeckers to your yard, and combining them with suet in a great combination of suet and hopper feeder gives you two feeders in one.

Downy Woodpecker

downy woodpecker

It is one-third smaller and has a smaller beak than other Woodpeckers, despite its resemblance to the Hairy Woodpecker. 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.

Small birds such as nuthatches and chickadees are commonly spotted in the company of Downy Woodpeckers.

They can be seen in open forests, parks, orchards, and backyards, although they are most usually observed at feeders. They’re also common among tall weeds.

Downy Woodpeckers can be seen at bird feeders in the backyard. They are highly active and emit a high-pitched sound and a falling whiny cry. Insects, particularly larvae, as well as nuts, berries, acorns, and grains, are consumed by downy woodpeckers.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flickers have a yellow flash in their wings and tails, a white patch on their rump while flying, and males have a red nape of the neck. They are enormous brown woodpeckers with black patches on their backs.

Northern Flickers have a piercing screech and a loud ringing cry. They consume mostly ants and beetles, but also fruits and seeds, which they dig up on the ground with their bent beak.

Northern Flickers prefer birdbaths over bird feeders, therefore during the winter, investing in a magnificent pedestal birdbath or a heated birdbath is the best option.

If you want to attract them you can also use suet cages, huge hoppers, or platform feeders, to feed black oil sunflower seeds, hulled sunflower seeds, safflower seeds, suet, cracked corn, peanuts, and millet.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

yellow bellied sapsucker

It is around the size of a robin and is rather little. Males have scarlet foreheads and crimson necks and are essentially black. Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers drill holes in trees and extract sap using their brush-tipped tongues.

In juvenile paper birch, yellow birch, red or sugar maple, and hickory trees, they produce neat horizontal rows of holes.

To let the sap flow, the holes must be kept clean. Young deciduous forests are widespread on birch and maple trees, where they build orderly rows of sap wells to feed.

Red-cockaded Woodpecker

red-cockaded woodpecker

Red-cockaded Woodpeckers are similar in size to robins, and their black back helps them blend in. Their backs are striped black and white, with a lighter underbelly and big white cheek patches. On the manly cheek, there is a practically invisible crimson line.

When foraging in pine woods, woodpeckers eat on insects and larvae such as ants, beetles, and centipedes.

Among other seeds and fruits, they will consume pine seeds, wild cherries, grapes, blueberries, and grapes.

If you live near pine trees, food such as berries may attract woodpeckers to your yard. Plant natural berry-producing plants, such as grape, bayberry, hackberry, or elderberry to attract the Red-cockaded Woodpecker.

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