Black-backed Woodpeckers

Types of Woodpeckers in Montana (with Pictures)

Woodpeckers are one of the most interesting bird families in North America. There are many different types of woodpeckers, and they can be found in forests and woodlands all across the continent. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of woodpeckers that can be found in Montana. We will talk about their physical features, their behavior, and where you can find them in the state. If you’re interested in learning more about these fascinating birds, keep reading!

Only reputable sources and an Ornithologist were used to collect the data.

Most Common Woodpecker Species in Montana

Red-naped Sapsucker

Red-naped Sapsucker

The red-naped sapsucker is a woodpecker that is found in western North America. This bird gets its name from the sap that it drinks from trees. The red-naped sapsucker is a small bird with a black back and wings.

The head of this bird is black with a white throat and chin. The belly of the red-naped sapsucker is white. This bird has a red cap on its head. The red-naped sapsucker is about seven to eight inches long.

The red-naped sapsucker drills holes in trees to get to the sap. This bird also eats insects and berries. The red-naped sapsucker is a shy bird.

This bird is not often seen by people. The red-naped sapsucker is active during the day. This bird is most likely to be seen in the early morning or late afternoon.

pileated woodpeckers

Pileated Woodpeckers

Pileated Woodpecker Scientific Name: Dryocopus pileatus

Pileated woodpeckers are the largest woodpeckers in North America, and they’re one of the easiest to identify.

They have black plumage with white stripes running down their necks, and they have a prominent red crest. Pileated woodpeckers are also known for their loud calls, which sound like a laughing kuk-kuk-kuk.

Pileated woodpeckers are shy birds, but they can be attracted to backyards with suet feeders.

They also like to eat insects, so if you have a problem with carpenter ants or other wood-boring insects, a pileated woodpecker may be your new best friend.

Black-backed Woodpeckers

Black-backed Woodpeckers

The Black-backed Woodpecker is a small to medium sized woodpecker that is found in North America. This bird has a black back, wings and tail. The belly and throat are white with some black spotting on the breast.

The face is also white with a black line through the eye. Adult males have a red cap on the head. Females and juveniles have a black cap.

The Black-backed Woodpecker is a forest bird that is found in coniferous forests. It is also found in burned areas and open woodlands. This bird feeds on insects, larvae and wood-boring beetles. It also eats berries and nuts.

The Black-backed Woodpecker excavates its own nesting cavity in a tree. This bird is not migratory and it will spend its entire life in the same area.

hairy woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker Scientific Name: Dryobates villosus

The Hairy Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker measuring 15 to 20 cm (59 to 79 in) in length and 28 to 31 cm (11 to 12 in) across the wings. The wing chord measures from 174.0 to 222.0 mm (from 68.50 to 87.40 inches).

This species shows sexual dimorphism, with the male being larger than the female, but there is little difference in plumage.

The adult Hairy Woodpecker has a black back, wings and tail. It has a white chest and belly with heavy black spotting on its sides. The head is black with a large white stripe running down the middle of it. The face is white with a black stripe running through the eye. The bill is long and straight. The legs are black.

The Hairy Woodpecker is found in North America, specifically in parts of Canada and the United States. It breeds in coniferous or mixed forests across most of Canada, the western Great Lakes region, and the northeastern and Pacific coast states of the United States.

It is a permanent resident in most of its range, but some northern birds may migrate further south during the winter months.

The Hairy Woodpecker excavates nesting cavities in trees, often using dead trees or branches. Both parents help to excavate the cavity, which takes them around two weeks to complete.

The nest is usually lined with wood chips and other soft materials. The female will lay between three and seven eggs, which are incubated for around two weeks. Both parents help to care for the young birds, which fledge from the nest after around four weeks.

williamson's sapsucker

Williamson’s Sapsucker

The Williamson’s Sapsucker is a medium-sized woodpecker, measuring between 18 and 20 cm in length. They are black and white with a yellow breast and belly. The male has a red throat and cheek patch, while the female has a white throat.

Williamson’s Sapsuckers are found in coniferous forests in the western United States and Canada. They nest in trees, often near water. These birds drill holes in trees to get at the sap, which they then eat. Williamson’s Sapsuckers also eat insects and berries.

These birds are named for their habit of drilling holes in trees to get at the sap inside. Williamson’s Sapsuckers are one of several species of sapsuckers, all of which belong to the woodpecker family. These birds are interesting to watch because of their unusual feeding behavior. If you’re lucky enough to see a Williamson’s Sapsucker, you’ll definitely remember it!

While most North American woodpeckers nest in tree cavities, the Williamson’s sapsucker is unusual in that it excavates its own nesting cavity. The Williamson’s sapsucker will also use other pre-existing nest sites if available.

Nests are generally located in living trees, with aspen being a preferred species, and are typically between four and thirty feet off the ground. The Williamson’s sapsucker will also use man-made structures, such as buildings and wooden fences, for nesting.

American-Three-Toed Woodpecker

American Three-Toed Woodpecker

The American three-toed woodpecker is one of the most distinctive and easily recognizable woodpeckers in North America. These birds are black with white stripes running down their back and a white patch on their wing.

They have a red cap on their head, which is usually only visible when they are excited or aggressive. Males and females look alike.

These woodpeckers are found in forests throughout the United States and Canada. They prefer coniferous forests, but can also be found in deciduous forests and mixed woods. American three-toed woodpeckers are most common in the western states, but they can be found as far east as Maine and Nova Scotia.

These birds are most active during the day, although they may feed on insects at night. They eat a variety of insects, as well as fruits, nuts, and seeds. American three-toed woodpeckers often cache food for later use.

American three-toed woodpeckers typically nest in cavities in trees. Both sexes excavate the nest cavity, which is usually about 12 inches deep and takes several weeks to complete.

The female lays between three and seven eggs, which she incubates for about two weeks. The young birds fledge (leave the nest) after about four weeks.

Red-headed Woodpeckers

Red-headed Woodpeckers

The red-headed woodpecker is one of the most distinctive and easily recognizable woodpeckers in North America. This bird is about the size of a robin, with a black body and white wings, but its most striking feature is its bright red head.

The red-headed woodpecker is found in open woods and forest edges throughout the eastern United States and parts of Canada. These birds are fairly common, but they are declining in some areas due to habitat loss.

The red-headed woodpecker is a cavity nester, meaning that it excavates its own nest hole in a tree. The bird will often use the same nesting site year after year.

These birds are also known to use man-made structures, such as power poles and buildings, for nesting. The red-headed woodpecker is a very social bird, often seen in small flocks during the non-breeding season.

The diet of the red-headed woodpecker consists mainly of insects, although the bird will also eat fruits and nuts. The red-headed woodpecker is an important part of the ecosystem, as it helps to control insect populations. These birds are also known to eat other small animals, such as lizards, snakes, and mice.

The red-headed woodpecker is a very vocal bird, with a loud, harsh call that is often heard in the woods. The bird also has a distinctive drumming sound, which it uses to communicate with other red-headed woodpeckers.

Lewis's Woodpecker

Lewis’s Woodpecker

The Lewis’s Woodpecker is a striking bird with a black body and bright red head. It is the only woodpecker in North America with entirely red plumage on its head. The back and wings are black, and the underparts are white.

Adult males have a small patch of yellow on their lower belly, while females have a larger patch of yellow on their breast.

The Lewis’s Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker, measuring about 12 inches in length and weighing between 60-70 grams. The wingspan is usually between 20-25 inches.

This species is found in western North America, from Alaska and Canada down to Mexico. In the United States, they are most commonly found in Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, and Utah.

The Lewis’s Woodpecker prefers to live in open woodlands near sources of water.

Downy Woodpeckers

Downy Woodpeckers

Downy Woodpecker Scientific Name: Dryobates pubescens

The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest woodpecker in North America. Adults are six to seven inches long with a wingspan of ten to eleven inches. The body is black with white stripes on the back and a patch of white on the belly.

The face is also black with a white line running from behind the eye to the back of the neck.

The wings are black with white stripes and the tail is black with white stripes on the outer feathers. The bill is short and black. Males have a small red patch on the back of the head, while females have a small black patch.

Downy Woodpeckers are found in forests throughout North America. They are most common in the eastern United States, but can also be found in the western states, Canada, and Alaska. They prefer woodlands with a mix of trees, but will also use urban areas and parks.

Downy Woodpeckers are active throughout the year. They are mostly seen alone or in pairs, but may form small flocks during the winter. They feed on insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates.

They will also eat fruit, sap, and nuts. Downy Woodpeckers often feed on the trunks and branches of trees, but can also be seen feeding on houses and other man-made structures.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker is a member of the woodpecker family. These birds are fairly large, with a wingspan of about 16 inches. They have brownish-red upperparts, with a black crescent on their chest.

Their undersides are pale yellow, with black bars running across them. The male Northern Flicker has a red patch on the back of his head, while the female has a brown patch.

These birds are found in open woodlands, as well as forests. They will also visit parks and gardens. Northern Flickers eat mostly ants and other insects. They will also eat berries and fruits. You can often see them eating on the ground, rather than in trees.

Northern Flickers are shy birds, and they are not often seen. However, you may hear their distinctive call, which sounds like a “wick-a-wick-a-wick”. If you see a Northern Flicker, you can try to attract it by imitating its call. You may also be able to attract these birds by putting out suet or chopped nuts.

When it comes to nesting, Northern Flickers will excavate their own nest cavity. They will also use abandoned nests of other birds.

The female will lay between four and eight eggs in the nest. Both parents will take care of the young birds until they are old enough to fend for themselves.

How to attract woodpeckers?

Woodpeckers in Montana are attracted to trees with a lot of insects. You can also put out suet or chopped nuts to attract them. Try imitating their call to attract them. You may be able to see them nesting in abandoned nests of other birds. If you see a woodpecker, try to approach it slowly and quietly so as not to scare it away.

What’s the largest woodpecker in North America?

The largest woodpecker in North America is the Lewis’s Woodpecker. These birds are between 20 and 25 inches long with a wingspan of up to 30 inches. They weigh tween 60-70 grams.

The Lewis’s Woodpecker is found in western North America, from Alaska and Canada down to Mexico. In the United States, they are found in the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and California.

Are pileated woodpeckers rare?

Pileated woodpeckers are not rare, but they are not as common as some of the other woodpecker species. They are found in forests throughout North America, but they prefer woodlands with a mix of trees. You can often see them feeding on the trunks and branches of trees, but they will also eat insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates. If you see a pileated woodpecker, you can try to attract it by imitating its call. You may also be able to attract these birds by putting out suet or chopped nuts.

What’s the smallest woodpecker in North America?

The smallest woodpecker in North America is the Downy Woodpecker. These birds are between five and seven inches long with a wingspan of up to ten inches. They weigh between 20-30 grams.

Are woodpeckers legal to shoot in Montana?

The answer to this question depends on the type of woodpecker. Some species of woodpeckers, such as the Northern Flicker, are protected by law and it is illegal to shoot them. Other species, such as the Downy Woodpecker, are not protected and it is legal to shoot them.

If you are unsure, it is best to check with your local wildlife authorities. In general, however, it is not advisable to shoot any woodpeckers as they are important members of the ecosystem and their populations are already declining in some areas.