Western Woodpecker Tableau

  • Williamson's sapsuckers, immature and adult, Bend, OR (photo by Pati Rouzer)

If you’re from Pennsylvania you may not realize we have few woodpecker species compared to the western states of California, Oregon and Washington.

Sixteen of North America’s 22 woodpecker species regularly occur in the Pacific states while only seven occur in Pennsylvania. Five of our species are also found out west though the yellow-bellied sapsucker is rare.

Let’s take a look at western woodpeckers compared to Pennsylvania’s.

Western Woodpeckers (Pacific states)Pennsylvania Woodpeckers
1Williamson’s sapsucker
(Yellow-bellied sapsucker is rare)Yellow-bellied sapsucker
2Red-naped sapsucker
3Red-breasted sapsucker
4Lewis’ woodpecker
Red-headed woodpecker
5Acorn woodpecker
6Gila woodpecker (California & southwest)
Red-bellied woodpecker
7American three-toed woodpecker (not in California)
8Black-backed woodpecker
9Downy woodpeckerDowny woodpecker
10Nuttall’s woodpecker (California only)
11Ladder-backed woodpecker (California & southwest)
12Hairy woodpecker Hairy woodpecker
13White-headed woodpecker
14Pileated woodpecker Pileated woodpecker
15Northern flicker (red-shafted)Northern flicker (yellow-shafted)
16Gilded flicker (California & Arizona)

With the most habitat diversity and a lot of trees, California wins the prize in the western woodpecker tableau.

(photos by Pati Rouzer, Patty McGann, Andy Reago & Chrissy McLaren, Mick Thompson (Creative Commons licenses on Flickr), and by Steve Valasek)

1 thought on “Western Woodpecker Tableau

  1. I do like the paging photo presentation. The adult and immature on the same photo is a treasure. The only thing missing is relative size, eg I know the pileated woodpecker is huge and that the downy is quite small.

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