Downy Woodpeckers

Types of Woodpeckers in Iowa (with Pictures)

There are many different types of woodpeckers that can be found in Iowa. In this blog post, we will discuss the most common ones. The three most common woodpeckers in Iowa are the downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, and northern flicker. Each of these birds has unique characteristics that set them apart from the others. Keep reading to learn more about each species!

Only trustworthy sources and an ornithologist were used to verify the data.

Most Common Woodpeckers of Iowa

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

The red-bellied woodpecker is a small to medium-sized woodpecker with black and white plumage. The adult male has a red cap on its head, while the female has a brownish cap.

The bird gets its name from the reddish coloration on its belly, which is visible when the bird is in flight. The red-bellied woodpecker is found in wooded areas throughout Iowa.

The red-bellied woodpecker is a cavity nester, meaning it excavates its own nest hole in a tree. The bird will also use man-made structures, such as bird houses, for nesting.

The red-bellied woodpecker is a year-round resident of Iowa, and can be seen feeding on insects, fruits, and nuts. The bird has a loud call that sounds like a laugh, which earned it the nickname “giggling chicken.”

If you see a red-bellied woodpecker in your yard, you may be able to attract the bird to a suet feeder. Suet is a high-fat bird food that is especially appealing to woodpeckers in the winter months.

To attract red-bellied woodpeckers, place a suet feeder near an open area of your yard where the bird can see it. Be sure to clean the suet feeder regularly to prevent the spread of disease.

The red-bellied woodpecker is a common bird in Iowa, and can be found in nearly any type of habitat. With its striking plumage and loud call, the red-bellied woodpecker is a fun bird to watch and listen for in your backyard.

red-headed woodpeckers

Red-headed Woodpecker

The red-headed woodpecker is a beautiful bird that is easily recognizable. The male has a bright red head, while the female has a grayish-brown head. Both sexes have white underparts with black bars on the wings and tail.

This species is found in woods and forest edges across North America. In Iowa, they are most commonly found in the eastern and southern parts of the state.

Red-headed woodpeckers are known for their acrobatic abilities. They are often seen hanging upside down from tree branches or flying straight up and down tree trunks.

These birds eat insects, fruits, and nuts. They use their long tongues to reach deep into crevices to capture their prey.

If you see a red-headed woodpeckers in Iowa, be sure to take the time to watch this amazing bird.

Pileated Woodpeckers

Pileated Woodpeckers

The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in North America, measuring 18 to 21 inches in length with a wingspan of up to 30 inches. They are black with white stripes on their face and neck and have a red crest on their head.

Pileated Woodpeckers are known for their loud, distinctive call which sounds like “kuk-kuk-kuk-kuk”.

Pileated Woodpeckers are found in wooded areas across North America. These woodpeckers in Iowa are most commonly found in eastern and southern parts of the state.

Pileated Woodpeckers prefer deciduous forests, but can also be found in coniferous forests, mixed forests, and urban parks and gardens.

Pileated Woodpeckers are very active birds and are often seen climbing tree trunks or flying from branch to branch in search of food. Their diet consists mainly of insects, but they will also eat fruits, nuts, and berries.

Pileated Woodpeckers play an important role in controlling insect populations and help to keep forests healthy.

Downy Woodpeckers

Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest woodpecker in North America. The adult Downy is about six to seven inches long with a wingspan of ten to eleven inches. The bill is short, straight, and black. The head has a black cap that extends just below the nape, white cheeks, and a black neck.

The back is black with white spots, the wings are black with white bars, and the tail is black with white outer feathers. The underparts are mostly white. Both sexes look alike, although the male often has a red patch on the back of the head.

The Downy Woodpecker can be found in woodlands and forests throughout North America. It is a permanent resident in Iowa, meaning it does not migrate. The Downy is most often seen in deciduous trees, but can also be found in evergreens and orchards.

It feeds on insects, spiders, berries, and nuts. The Downy Woodpecker excavates its own nest hole in a tree. Both the male and female help to excavate the nest and raise the young.

The Downy Woodpecker is a small, black and white woodpecker that is common in Iowa woodlands. It has a short, straight bill and a black cap that extends just below the nape.

The adult Downy is about six to seven inches long with a wingspan of ten to eleven inches. The Downy Woodpecker can be found in woodlands and forests throughout North America. It is a permanent resident in Iowa, meaning it does not migrate.

hairy woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

The Hairy Woodpeckers are a medium-sized woodpecker with black and white bars on its back and wings.

The head has a red cap, and the face is white with a black line through the eye. Adults are about 16 cm (63 in) long with a 28 cm (11 in) wingspan. They weigh 50-70 grams (about two ounces).

The Hairy Woodpecker is found in woodlands across North America. These woodpeckers in Iowa are most common in the eastern and northern parts of the state. It is a permanent resident, meaning it does not migrate.

The Hairy Woodpecker feeds on insects, especially carpenter ants. It will also eat berries, acorns, and other nuts.

The Hairy Woodpecker excavates its own nest cavity in a dead tree or limb. Both the male and female help to excavate the nest. The nest is usually about 30 cm (12 in) deep with an entrance hole about four cm (one and a half inches) wide.

The female lays four to seven eggs in the nest. Both parents help to incubate the eggs, which hatch after about two weeks. The young birds leave the nest after about four weeks.

Northern Flicker

Related post: Types of Woodpeckers in Maryland

Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker is a member of the woodpecker family. It is the only North American woodpecker with a red breast. The male has a black mustache mark on its face. Both sexes have a brown back with black bars and a white rump.

The wings are brown with black bars. The underparts are white with black bars on the sides. The bill is black and slightly curved. The legs and feet are gray.

The Northern Flicker is about 12 inches long with a wingspan of about 21 inches. It weighs about four ounces.

The Northern Flicker is found in open woodlands, parks, and backyards across North America. It feeds on insects, berries, and seeds. It will also eat suet from bird feeders.

The Northern Flicker is a cavity nester. It excavates a nest hole in a tree or stump. The female lays six to eight eggs in the nest. Both parents incubate the eggs for about two weeks. The young fledge at about three weeks of age.

The Northern Flicker is a year-round resident in Iowa. It is most active in the morning and evening hours. In the winter, it may form small flocks and roost together in trees.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is a medium-sized woodpecker with a black back, wings and tail. The head has a white forehead, nape and throat. There is a yellow band across the breast. Adult males have a red crown. Females and immatures are similar but lack the red crown. This bird bores holes in trees to feed on sap and insects. It often returns to the same tree day after day.

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker nests in a cavity excavated in a dead tree or snag. Both sexes help excavate the nest hole which is about two inches wide. The female lays four to five eggs which are incubated for 12 days. Both parents help feed the young which leave the nest after about three weeks.

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is found in woodlands throughout most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains. In Iowa, it is a fairly common breeder in northern and eastern counties.

This bird often winters in southern states or along the coast. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is a fairly common bird in Iowa, although its numbers have declined in recent years. This decline is likely due to the loss of suitable habitat as trees are cut down for development or agriculture.

The best time to see a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker in Iowa is during the breeding season from April to July. During this time, the birds are more likely to be found in woodlands near rivers or streams. Look for them drilling holes in trees or flying from tree to tree with their distinctive undulating flight pattern.

You may also hear their loud drumming which sounds like a machine gun. If you’re lucky, you may see a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker feeding on sap or insects at one of its favorite trees. To attract these birds to your yard, try putting up a nest box designed for woodpeckers.

You can also provide suet or fruit as an artificial food source. By providing habitat and food for Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, you can help this declining species recover in Iowa.

Does Iowa have woodpeckers?

Yes, Iowa has woodpeckers.

How many different kinds of woodpeckers are in Iowa?

There are two main types of woodpeckers in Iowa – the Northern Flicker and the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. However, there are also other lesser-known species of woodpeckers that can be found in the state.

Woodpeckers typically eat?

Woodpeckers typically eat insects, berries, and seeds. They will also eat suet from bird feeders. Some woodpeckers, like the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, will bore holes in trees to feed on sap and insects.

Others, like the Northern Flicker, are more likely to be found in open woodlands, parks, and backyards across North America. Woodpeckers typically eat insects, berries, and seeds. They will also eat suet from bird feeders.

Some woodpeckers, like the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, will bore holes in trees to feed on sap and insects.

What is the largest woodpecker in Iowa?

The Northern Flicker is the largest woodpecker in Iowa. It is a year-round resident in Iowa and is most active in the morning and evening hours. In the winter, it may form small flocks and roost together in trees.

How do I attract woodpeckers to my backyard?

The best way to attract woodpeckers to your backyard is by providing food and shelter. You can put up a nest box designed for woodpeckers or provide suet or fruit as an artificial food source.

By providing habitat and food for these birds, you can help them recover in Iowa.