White-headed Woodpecker

Dryobates albolarvatus

Order

PICIFORMES

Family

Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Code 4

WHWO

Code 6

PICALB

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The White-headed Woodpecker is approximately 20 cm long in adulthood, and is found in pine woodlands on mountains throughout western North America. The range of this species spans from the mountains of British Columbia to southern California. Nests are built in dead trees or snags via holes pecked by the bird. Food is either caught in-flight or foraged and found on the ground, and diets consist of insects, seeds, berries and nuts, including pine cones. Northern populations may migrate short distances, but most are permanent residents. The conservation rating for the White-headed Woodpecker is Least Concern.

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SUMMARY

Overview

White-headed Woodpecker: Medium-sized woodpecker, mostly black with large white wing patches. Head and throat are white; nape patch is red and narrow. Small black stripe behind the eye. Bill is black and small. Legs and feet are black. This is the only North American woodpecker with a white head.


Range and Habitat North America

White-headed Woodpecker: Resident of extreme south-central British Columbia, northeastern Washington, central Oregon, western Idaho, and south to southern California and western Nevada. Some birds migrate down mountain slopes in the winter. Ponderosa pine belts in mountains are the preferred habitat.


Range and Habitat Hawaii


Range and Habitat Palau

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INTERESTING FACTS

  • The White-headed Woodpecker was first described in 1850 by John Cassin, an American ornithologist. It is one of the most poorly studied woodpeckers in North America.
  • Because they pry rather than hammer bark from trees and forage by excavating cones, their foraging tends to be quieter than that of other woodpeckers.
  • The larger bill of the southern subspecies may an adaptation for being better able to feed on the large, spiny cones of Coulter Pines.
  • A group of woodpeckers has many collective nouns, including a "descent", "drumming", and "gatling" of woodpeckers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION



SONGS AND CALLS

Xeno-Canto Sound

White-headed Woodpecker A1

  • Title: White-headed Woodpecker A1
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: Contact call is a sharp "pre-di-dink" or "pre-dink".
  • Location: CA
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

White-headed Woodpecker A2

  • Title: White-headed Woodpecker A2
  • Recordist: Andrew Spencer
  • Description: Drumming from a male bird.
  • Location: WA
  • Date: "07/19/2016"

Lang Elliott Sound

White-headed Woodpecker 2

  • Title: White-headed Woodpecker 2
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Repeated "peek" calls.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: CA

White-headed Woodpecker 3

  • Title: White-headed Woodpecker 3
  • Recordist: Lang Elliott
  • Description: Calls at the nest with sounds of young.
  • Date: "April 28, 2014"
  • Location: CA

Voice Text

"pee-dink", "pee-dee-dee-dink"

Vocalization

White-headed Woodpecker: Usually silent; call is a sharp "pee-dink" or a more prolonged "pee-dee-dee-dink."

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Artist

Chris Vest

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NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X