Northern Flicker

Types of Woodpeckers in California (with Pictures)

There are many different types of woodpeckers in California. In this blog post, we will discuss the four most common ones: the red-headed woodpecker, the acorn woodpecker, the downy woodpecker, and the hairy woodpecker. Each of these birds has its own unique characteristics and habits. We will go over each one in detail and provide some tips on how to identify them. So if you’re interested in learning more about California’s Woodpeckers, keep reading!

Only reputable sources and a professional ornithologist were consulted, and the data were double-checked.

Most Common Woodpeckers in California

Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpeckers

Acorn Woodpecker Scientific Name: Melanerpes formicivorus

Acorn Woodpeckers are found in woodlands throughout California. They are year-round residents of the state and can be seen in both rural and urban areas. These small birds are most easily identified by their black and white plumage, as well as their red cap. Male and female Acorn Woodpeckers look alike, and juveniles have a brown cap.

Acorn Woodpeckers are known for their acorn storage behavior. These birds will drill holes into dead trees and store acorns in them. This behavior helps the Acorn Woodpeckers to survive during times of food scarcity.

If you’re lucky enough to spot an Acorn Woodpecker, you’re sure to be charmed by their behavior. These birds are playful and curious, and often approach humans when they see them. So keep your eyes peeled for these little creatures the next time you’re out in nature!

Do you think you’ve spotted an Acorn Woodpecker? Here are some tips on how to identify them:

  • Look for the black and white plumage.
  • Look for the red cap (on males and females).
  • Look for the brown cap (on juveniles).
  • Observe their behavior. Acorn Woodpeckers are known for their acorn storage behavior. They will drill holes into dead trees and store acorns in them.
hairy woodpecker

Hairy Woodpeckers

Hairy Woodpecker Scientific Name: Dryobates villosus

The Hairy Woodpecker is large woodpecker that is seven to nine inches long with a 32 to 41 cm wingspan. It has a black and white barred back, wings and tail, with a mostly black head, white throat, and belly. The face is blank except for a small white line above each eye.

The bill is longer and heavier than that of other woodpeckers in its range, adapted for drilling deep into the wood to extract insect prey. The male Hairy Woodpecker has a red patch on the back of its head, while the female has a brownish-red patch.

Hairy Woodpeckers are found in forests across North America. In California, they are most common in the the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, but can also be found in the coastal mountains and lower foothills. Hairy Woodpeckers typically nest in tree cavities excavated by the birds themselves.

They will also use nest boxes designed for other cavity-nesting birds. Hairy Woodpeckers are mostly active during the day, although they may feed nocturnally in areas with little human activity.

They forage by climbing tree trunks and branches in search of insects hidden under bark or in crevices. Hairy Woodpeckers will also eat berries, nuts, and seeds.

Hairy Woodpeckers are not currently considered to be at risk of extinction, although their populations may be declining in some areas due to habitat loss.

If you live in an area where Hairy Woodpeckers are found, you can help them by creating nesting sites for them or providing supplemental food during the winter months.

White-headed Woodpecker

White-headed Woodpecker

The White-headed Woodpecker is a small to medium-sized woodpecker with a white head and black back. They are found in the forests of western North America. These birds are very active, often hopping around on branches in search of food.

Their diet consists mainly of insects and their larvae, although they will also eat berries and nuts.

White-headed Woodpeckers are often seen in pairs or small family groups. They are known to mate for life and will often stay close to their nesting area even after their young have flown the nest. These birds are interesting to watch and can be quite entertaining!

If you’re lucky enough to see one, take a moment to enjoy their antics. Who knows, you might even get a chance to see them drumming on a tree!

black-backed woodpeckers

Black-backed Woodpeckers

The Black-backed Woodpecker is a small woodpecker with a black back and wings. They have a white breast with black bars and a white belly. The male has a red cap on the top of his head. They are about the same size as a Hairy Woodpecker, but they have longer legs and shorter tails.

Black-backed Woodpeckers are found in the forests of California. They prefer to live in coniferous forests, but they can also be found in mixed forests. They eat insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates. They also eat the sap of trees.

Black-backed Woodpeckers are most active during the day. They are often seen flying from tree to tree in search of food. They also like to perch on branches and trunks of trees. When they are not feeding, they can be found roosting in cavities in dead trees.

If you see a Black-backed Woodpecker in your yard, you can attract them by putting out suet or peanut butter. You can also put out a nesting box for them to use. Black-backed Woodpeckers are not very shy and will often come close to people. If you see one, be sure to take a picture!

Woodpeckers of Nuttall

The Nuttall’s woodpecker (Picoides nuttallii) is a medium-sized woodpecker found in the forests of California. They are black and white with a red cap on their head. Males also have a red moustache. These birds are very shy and difficult to spot. They mostly eat insects but will also eat nuts and berries.

Gilded Flicker

Gilded Flicker

The Gilded Flicker is a beautiful bird that is found in the southwestern United States. They are most commonly seen in Arizona, but they can also be found in parts of California, Nevada, and Utah.

The male Gilded Flicker has a yellow face with a black mask around its eyes. The female Gilded Flicker has a brown face with a black mask around its eyes. Both male and female Gilded Flickers have a brown back and wings with yellow spots.

The underside of their wings is white with black bars. Gilded Flickers are the only North American woodpeckers that nest in cacti. They drill holes into the side of cacti to make their nests. Gilded Flickers eat insects, berries, and seeds.

They use their long tongue to reach into crevices to get food. Gilded Flickers are active during the day. You can often see them perched on telephone poles or trees.

Red-tailed-Northern Flicker

Related post: Types of Woodpeckers in Massachusetts

Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker is a medium-sized bird with a long tail and rounded wings. The adult male has a black bib with red sides on the breast, while the female has a brownish bib.

The back is brown with black bars, and the wings are rusty-red. The underparts are white with buffy streaks. The head is brown with a black streak behind the eye.

The bill is stout and slightly curved. Northern Flickers are active birds, often seen perching on power lines or fences. They also spend a lot of time on the ground, where they forage for ants and other insects. When feeding, they often flick their tail up and down.

Northern Flickers are found in woodlands, parks, and residential areas throughout most of North America. They are most common in the western United States.

Northern Flickers typically mate for life and build their nests in tree cavities. Both parents help to incubate the eggs and care for the young birds.

Northern Flickers are not currently considered to be at risk of extinction. However, their populations have declined in some areas due to habitat loss and fragmentation.

If you live in an area where Northern Flickers are found, you can help them by providing nesting sites and planting native plants that will attract insects for them to eat.

You may also see these birds at your local bird feeder if you offer suet or ants. Keep an eye out for these beautiful creatures the next time you are outside!

Red-Breasted Sapsucker

Red-Breasted Sapsucker

The red-breasted sapsucker is a small woodpecker that is found in North America. The adult male has a black back and wings, with a white breast and belly.

The adult female has a brown back and wings, with a white breast and belly. The juvenile has a brown back and wings, with a white breast and belly.

The red-breasted sapsucker can be found in coniferous forests and deciduous forests. It feeds on sap from trees, as well as insects and berries. The red-breasted sapsucker is a migratory bird, and can be seen in California from October to April.

gila woodpecker

Gila Woodpecker

The Gila Woodpecker (Melanerpes uropygialis) is a medium-sized woodpecker found in the southwestern United States and Mexico. The adult male has a black back, wings, and tail, with a white belly and rump.

The adult female is similar but has a brown back. Both sexes have a red cap, white cheeks, and a black mustache stripe. The Gila Woodpecker is the only member of the genus Melanerpes found in North America.

The Gila Woodpecker is found in desert habitats with Palo Verde trees or saguaro cacti. It nests in holes excavated in these trees. The Gila Woodpecker is not migratory and can be found in its range all year round.

The Gila Woodpecker feeds on insects, fruits, and pollen. It often climbs down tree trunks head-first to search for food. The Gila Woodpecker is known to store food in crevices in tree bark and will return to these storage areas later to eat.

The Gila Woodpecker is a common bird in its range and is not considered to be at risk. However, like many other species of birds, the Gila Woodpecker may be affected by habitat loss and degradation.

Downy Woodpeckers

Downy Woodpeckers

Downy Woodpecker Scientific Name: Dryobates pubescens

Downy Woodpeckers in California are one of the smallest North American woodpeckers and are easily distinguished from other woodpeckers by their size. They have black and white feathers, with a small patch of red on the back of their head. Males and females look alike.

Downy Woodpeckers are found in woods and forest edges across Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Downy Woodpeckers eat insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates. They use their long tongues to reach into crevices in tree bark to capture their prey. Downy Woodpeckers will also eat berries and nuts.

In the winter months, when food is scarce, they will visit backyard bird feeders.

Downy Woodpeckers are cavity nesters. Both males and females will excavate a nest hole in a tree. The female will line the nest with soft materials such as hair, feathers, and plant down.

The female will lay four to six eggs in the nest, and both parents will take turns incubating the eggs. The young birds will leave the nest after about three weeks.

williamson's sapsucker

Williamson’s Sapsucker

The Williamson’s Sapsucker is a medium-sized woodpecker with black and white plumage. The back is black with white spots, while the underparts are white with black bars. The head is red with a white forehead and crown.

The wings are black with white stripes. The tail is black with a white band at the tip. The bill is black and the legs are grey.

The Williamson’s Sapsucker breeds in coniferous forests of the western United States. It nests in a cavity excavated in a tree, often using the same site for several years.

The female lays three to five eggs, which are incubated for about two weeks. Both parents feed the young birds.

The Williamson’s Sapsucker is a migratory bird, wintering in Mexico and Central America. It feeds on sap from trees, as well as insects and berries. The sapsucker drills holes in tree bark to access the sap.

This behavior can damage the tree, particularly if done repeatedly on the same tree. The Williamson’s Sapsucker is the only member of its genus, Picoides, that feeds on sap.

Lewis's Woodpecker

Lewis’s Woodpecker

The Lewis’s Woodpecker is a beautiful bird that can be found in many parts of the United States. However, they are most commonly found in the state of California.

If you are lucky enough to spot one of these birds, you will notice that they are quite large and have a very long beak. They are also known for their loud calls and their aggressive behavior.

While they may be beautiful to look at, Lewis’s Woodpeckers can cause a lot of damage to trees. They are known for drilling holes into trees in order to find food.

This can often lead to the death of the tree. If you see a Lewis’s Woodpecker on your property, it is best to call a professional to remove them.

Overall, the Lewis’s Woodpecker is a beautiful but dangerous bird. If you see one on your property, it is best to take precautions and call a professional.

Pileated Woodpeckers

Pileated Woodpeckers

The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the largest woodpeckers in North America and is a very distinctive bird. They are black with white stripes on their face and wings and have a red crest on their head. They are often seen in forests and are known for their loud drumming sound.

Pileated Woodpeckers are known to be very aggressive, and will often attack other birds that come near their nest. They are also known to destroy trees in search of food.

If you see a Pileated Woodpecker in your backyard, it is important to keep an eye on it. These birds can be very destructive and can cause a lot of damage to your property. If you are concerned about the damage that these birds can cause, you may want to contact a local wildlife control company.

If you see a Pileated Woodpecker in your area, it is important to take note of its behavior. These birds can be very aggressive and can cause a lot of damage to your property. If you are concerned about the damage that these birds can cause, you may want to contact a local wildlife control company.

You can also take some simple steps to deter these birds from your property, such as:

  • Keep your yard clean and free of food sources that would attract these birds.
  • Trim trees and shrubs around your property to remove potential nesting sites.
  • Install bird netting or other physical barriers around areas that you want to protect from these birds.

By taking these simple steps, you can help to deter Pileated Woodpeckers from your property and reduce the risk of damage to your home.

Are there woodpeckers in Southern CA?

Yes, there are woodpeckers in Southern California. The most common species is the Nuttall’s woodpecker, which is found in wooded areas throughout the region. Other species include the Williamson’s sapsucker and the red-naped sapsucker. Woodpeckers are attracted to areas with trees and shrubs, so they can be found in many urban and suburban areas. If you hear a loud knocking noise coming from a tree, it’s likely a woodpecker!

What type of woodpeckers live in California?

There are several types of woodpeckers that call California home, including the acorn woodpecker, the black-backed woodpecker, and the Nuttall’s woodpecker. Each of these species has its own unique characteristics and habits, making them all interesting creatures to learn about.

Do woodpeckers live in California?

The answer is yes, woodpeckers do live in California. In fact, there are seventeen different species of woodpecker that can be found in the state. The most common type of woodpecker in California is the Nuttall’s Woodpecker, which can be found in forests and woodlands throughout the state. Other species of woodpecker that can be found in California include the Acorn Woodpecker, the Hairy Woodpecker, and the Northern Flicker.

What do woodpeckers look like in California?

The woodpecker is a common bird in California. There are many different species of woodpeckers, but the most common one in California is the Northern Flicker.

The Northern Flicker is a red-shafted bird with a brown body and black bars on its wings. It has a white rump and tail, and a black crescent on its breast. The Northern Flicker is about 16 inches long and weighs about four ounces. It feeds on ants, bees, beetles, and other insects.

The woodpecker is a common bird in California. There are many different species of woodpeckers, but the most common one in California is the Northern Flicker. The Northern Flicker is a red-shafted bird with a brown body and black bars on its wings. It has a white rump and tail, and a black crescent on its breast. The Northern Flicker is about 16 inches long and weighs about four ounces.

Types of Woodpeckers in California Bay Area

There are several types of woodpeckers that make their homes in the California Bay Area. The most common is the Northern Flicker, which can be found in urban and suburban areas as well as in forests and woodlands. Other types of woodpeckers that can be found in the Bay Area include the Acorn Woodpecker, the Nuttall’s Woodpecker, and the Williamson’s Sapsucker.

Can You Shot Woodpeckers in California? Is It Illegal to Kill Woodpeckers in California?

The simple answer is no, you cannot shoot woodpeckers in California. It is illegal to kill any bird in California, with the exception of a few species that are considered pests. Woodpeckers are not classified as pests, so it is not legal to kill them.

If you are having problems with woodpeckers damaging your property, there are a few things you can do to deter them. You can try putting up barriers to prevent them from getting to the areas they are damaging, or you can use loud noises or bright lights to scare them away. If these methods don’t work, you may need to consult with a wildlife control expert to find a more permanent solution.

How to attract Woodpeckers?

Woodpeckers are one of the most interesting and entertaining birds that you can attract to your backyard. They are also very beneficial, as they help control insect populations. If you would like to attract woodpeckers to your yard, there are a few things that you can do.

One of the best ways to attract woodpeckers is to provide them with a food source. Woodpeckers love insects, so if you have a problem with insect pests, attracting woodpeckers may be the solution. You can do this by hanging a suet feeder in your yard. Suet is a type of fat that is high in energy, and it is a favorite food of woodpeckers. You can also put out a bird feeder that is filled with seeds, nuts, and berries.