Lewis Woodpecker

Types of Woodpeckers in Nebraska (with Pictures)

There are many different types of woodpeckers that can be found in Nebraska. In this blog post, we will discuss the four most common types of woodpeckers that can be found in the state. These include the red-headed woodpecker, the downy woodpecker, the hairy woodpecker, and the pileated woodpecker. We will discuss each type of woodpecker in detail, including their physical characteristics and where they are typically found.

Only trustworthy sources and the findings of an Ornithologist were used to collect this data.

Most Common Woodpeckers of Nebraska

williamson's sapsucker

Williamson’s Sapsucker

The Williamson’s Sapsucker is a medium-sized woodpecker with black and white plumage. The male has a red throat and breast, while the female has a yellow throat. Both sexes have a white belly and rump, and black wings with white bars. This species is found in coniferous forests of the western United States and Canada.

The Williamson’s Sapsucker is a hole nester, excavating nesting cavities in trees. This species feeds on sap from trees, as well as insects and berries.

Williamson’s Sapsuckers often tap multiple holes in a tree to get at the sap. These birds also have long sticky tongues that they use to capture insects.

During the breeding season, Williamson’s Sapsuckers perform a display flight in which they dive and soar while calling. This species is named for Colonel William Williamson, who was the first to collect this bird in 1805.

The Williamson’s Sapsucker is not considered to be at risk of extinction. However, like many other bird species, this bird is declining in numbers due to habitat loss.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

The red-bellied woodpecker is a small to medium sized woodpecker with a short stout bill. The back is black with white bars and the belly is pale red. Both sexes have a red cap that extends from the forehead to just above the nape of the neck. Immature birds are similar to adults but have brownish caps.

This woodpecker is found in woodlands and forests across the eastern United States and southern Canada.

The red-bellied woodpecker is a cavity nester and will excavate its own nest hole or use an existing one. Both sexes help to excavate the nest which is usually located in a dead tree or snag.

The nest is lined with wood chips and shredded bark. The female lays between three and seven eggs which are incubated for about two weeks. Both parents help to feed the young birds which leave the nest after about four weeks.

This woodpecker feeds on insects, fruits, and nuts. Insects make up the majority of the diet and are gleaned from tree bark or caught in the air. Fruits and nuts are eaten seasonally and include acorns, beechnuts, and cherries. The red-bellied woodpecker often stores food items in a crevice or cavity to eat later.

The red-bellied woodpecker is a common bird across its range and is not considered to be at risk. This woodpecker does face some threats however including habitat loss and fragmentation, nest predation, and competition with other cavity nesters. You can help this bird by creating nesting habitat in your backyard or local park.

American-Three-Toed Woodpecker

American Three-Toed Woodpecker

The American three-toed woodpecker is a small to medium sized woodpecker. The adult has a black back, white underparts, and a black head with a white forehead and nape. There are two yellowish stripes on the face, one running through each eye.

The wings are black with white bars and the tail is black with white bars. The legs and bill are black. The female has a red cap on the head instead of a black one. Both sexes have three toes, as the name implies, but only the outer two point forwards while the inner toe points backwards.

The American three-toed woodpecker is found in coniferous forests in North America. It is a permanent resident in the southern part of its range, but northern birds may migrate south in winter.

This woodpecker feeds on insects and their larvae, which it finds by pecking at the bark of trees. It also eats some fruit and nuts. The American three-toed woodpecker excavates nesting cavities in trees. Both parents help to raise the young.

Pileated Woodpeckers

Pileated Woodpeckers

Pileated woodpeckers are the largest woodpeckers in North America, and they’re one of the most striking birds you’re likely to see in Nebraska. With their black bodies, white wing bars, and red crest, they’re unmistakable.

But there’s more to these interesting birds than just their good looks. Here are some facts about pileated woodpeckers that you may not know.

Pileated woodpeckers are some of the most acrobatic birds around. They’re known for their aerial displays, in which they fly up to catch insects in midair. But they’re just as agile on the ground, running and hopping along tree branches with ease.

Pileated woodpeckers are also known for their loud calls, which can often be heard echoing through the woods. The call of the male is a distinctive “kuk-kuk-kuk,” while the female’s call is a softer “pik-pik.”

black-backed woodpeckers

Black-backed Woodpeckers

The Black-backed Woodpecker is a small woodpecker with a black back, wings, and tail. The head is grey with a white face and throat. They have a short bill and long tongue which they use to drill into trees to find insects.

Black-backed Woodpeckers are found in forests with lots of dead trees. They nests in holes that they drill into dead trees. Both the male and female will help to excavate the nest hole.

Black-backed Woodpeckers are not often seen at bird feeders, but they will eat suet and peanuts. They also eat insects, especially wood-boring beetle larvae. In the winter, they may eat berries and fruits.

The best way to attract Black-backed Woodpeckers to your yard is to provide dead trees or snags for them to nest in. You can also put up a suet feeder. These woodpeckers are more likely to be seen in the spring and summer when they are nesting.

If you hear them drumming on a tree, that is a good sign that they are nearby. Be patient and you may be rewarded with a glimpse of these beautiful birds!

Related article: Types of Woodpeckers in Iowa

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpeckers

The Hairy Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker measuring from 15-20 cm in length with a wingspan of 30-38 cm. The males and females are similar in plumage, with the male having a red patch on the back of the head, while the female has a white cap.

Both sexes have black and white plumage, with a black back and wings, and a white breast and belly. The bill is long and chisel-shaped, adapted for drilling into wood in search of food.

The legs are short and the feet have two toes pointing forward and two backward, which helps them grip onto tree branches.

The Hairy Woodpecker is found in forests across North America. These woodpeckers in Nebraska are most commonly found in the eastern part of the state. They prefer woods with large trees, but can also be found in suburban areas with smaller trees.

The Hairy Woodpecker feeds on insects, larvae, and grubs that it finds by pecking into dead or dying trees. It also eat berries, nuts, and sunflower seeds. The Hairy Woodpecker will often store food in crevices or holes in trees to eat later.

The Hairy Woodpecker is a cavity nester, meaning it will excavate a hole in a tree to use as a nest. Both the male and female work together to excavate the hole, which can be up to 60 cm deep. The Hairy Woodpecker will use the same nest year after year.

The Hairy Woodpecker is a common sight in Nebraska woods, and is easily identified by its black and white plumage.

red-headed woodpeckers

Red-headed Woodpeckers

The red-headed woodpecker is one of the most easily identifiable woodpeckers in North America. The adult male has a completely red head, while the female has a red head with a white band across the back of her neck.

Both sexes have a white belly and black wings with white bars. These birds are relatively small, measuring about seven to eight inches in length.

Red-headed woodpeckers are found in open woods and forest edges across most of the eastern United States. In Nebraska, they are most commonly seen in the eastern part of the state, but can also be found in some western counties. These birds typically nest in trees, excavating their own nesting cavity.

Red-headed woodpeckers are very active birds, spending most of their time foraging for food. Their diet consists mostly of insects, but they will also eat fruits and nuts.

These birds often feed on the ground, using their long tongue to capture prey that is hidden in crevices. Red-headed woodpeckers will also visit bird feeders and are especially attracted to suet.

If you see a red-headed woodpecker in your yard, be sure to watch for its unique behavior. These birds often hang upside down from tree branches while foraging for food.

They are also known to store excess food in crevices in trees, to be eaten later. Red-headed woodpeckers are fun birds to watch and can provide hours of enjoyment for bird watchers of all levels.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker is a member of the woodpecker family. These birds are medium-sized with long tails and strong legs. The Northern Flicker has two color morphs, red-shafted and yellow-shafted. The most distinguishing feature of these birds is the black bar on their wings. Male flickers also have a red crescent on their chest.

The Northern Flicker is the only member of the woodpecker family that feeds primarily on the ground. These birds eat ants, beetles, and other insects. They will also consume fruits and berries. The Northern Flicker is an important bird in the control of forest tent caterpillars.

The Northern Flicker is a cavity nester. Both the male and female will excavate a nest hole in a tree. The female will lay between six and twelve eggs in the nest. The young flickers will leave the nest after about four weeks.

The Northern Flicker is found throughout North America. In Nebraska, these birds are most common in the eastern part of the state. The Northern Flicker is a year-round resident of Nebraska.

The best time to see a Northern Flicker is during the spring and summer months. These birds are often seen perching on power lines or fences. They will also come to bird feeders.

Lewis's Woodpecker

Lewis’s Woodpecker

The Lewis’s Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis) is a medium-sized woodpecker found in western North America. The adult male has a red cap, black back, white throat and belly, and gray wings.

The adult female has a brownish head with some red on the nape, and a grayish back. Both sexes have a white rump and outer tail feathers, with black barring on the inner tail feathers.

This woodpecker is found in open woodlands, often near mountain streams. It feeds on insects, berries, and acorns. The Lewis’s Woodpecker is known for its habit of catching flying insects in mid-air.

The Lewis’s Woodpecker is named for Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition, who first described the bird in 1806. The scientific name means “black-capped woodpecker”.

This woodpecker is not considered to be at risk of extinction, but its numbers have declined in some areas due to habitat loss. Lewis’s Woodpeckers are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The best time to see a Lewis’s Woodpecker is during the breeding season, from late April through July. During this time, the birds are more likely to be seen in pairs or family groups. After the breeding season, the birds may form small flocks.

If you’re lucky enough to see a Lewis’s Woodpecker, you’ll likely hear its distinctive call before you see the bird. The male’s call is a loud, sharp “kik-kik-kik”, while the female’s call is a softer “pik-pik-pik”. Both sexes also make a drumming noise with their beaks.

Downy Woodpeckers

Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest member of the woodpecker family in North America. They are black and white with a small bill and a short tail. The male has a red patch on the back of his head, while the female does not.

Both sexes have white stripes on their backs and wings. These birds are found in woods and forests across North America.

Downy Woodpeckers eat insects, spiders, berries, and nuts. They use their long tongues to reach inside tree bark to find food. They also drill holes in trees to get at the insects inside.

Downy woodpeckers are acrobatic birds and can often be seen clinging upside down to tree trunks.

These birds are known for their drumming behavior. They will peck at trees with their beaks to make a loud noise. This is how they communicate with other woodpeckers and attract mates. Downy woodpeckers will also sometimes use their beaks to create nesting cavities in trees.

Acorn Woodpecker

Acorn Woodpecker

The Acorn Woodpecker is a small to medium-sized woodpecker with a black and white plumage. The male has a red cap while the female has a black cap. Both sexes have white stripes on their face, back, and wings. The bill is chisel-shaped and slightly curved. The legs are short and stout. The tail is black with white bars.

The Acorn Woodpecker is found in woodlands of western North America from southeastern Alaska to central Mexico. In Nebraska, they are found in the eastern and central parts of the state.

Acorn Woodpeckers are permanent residents and do not migrate. They live in small family groups or pairs.

The Acorn Woodpecker feeds on insects, acorns, and other nuts. They will store acorns in crevices in trees or excavate their own holes to store them in. These stored acorns will be used as food during the winter months.

The nesting behavior of the Acorn Woodpecker is interesting. Both the male and female will excavate a hole in a tree. The female will then lay her eggs in the hole. Once the eggs are hatched, both parents will care for the young.

Red-naped Sapsucker

Red-naped Sapsucker

The Red-naped Sapsucker is a medium-sized woodpecker that is found in the western United States and parts of Canada. The adult male has a red nape (back of the neck) and crown, while the female has a brown nape. Both sexes have white stripes on their cheeks, a black bill, and a white belly. T

he Red-naped Sapsucker is the only North American woodpecker that regularly drills horizontal rows of small holes in trees to drink sap. They also eat insects, berries, and tree buds. These birds nest in a cavity excavated by the male in a dead tree or stump.

The female lays between four and seven eggs, which are incubated for about two weeks. The young birds leave the nest after about a month. Red-naped Sapsuckers are year-round residents in Nebraska. Look for them in woodlands, orchards, and riparian (streamside) areas throughout the state.

Most of the state’s breeding population is found in the eastern half of Nebraska, although a few pairs nest in the Panhandle. In winter, these birds often congregate in small flocks and can be seen feeding on trees along roadsides.

The best time to look for Red-naped Sapsuckers is during the breeding season from late April through July.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is a medium-sized woodpecker with a black back, white wing bars, and a yellow belly. They are most often seen in the spring and summer months in Nebraska.

The best place to look for them is in deciduous forests where they can be found feeding on tree sap. Look for them on trees with small holes drilled in them or look for the tell-tale signs of yellow sap on the bark.

How to attract woodpeckers to your yard in Nebraska?

The best way to attract woodpeckers to your yard is by providing them with a food source. One way to do this is to drill small holes in trees and offer the sap as a food source. Another way to provide food for woodpeckers is by putting out bird feeders filled with nuts and seeds. By offering food, you will be sure to attract woodpeckers to your yard.

Are woodpeckers protected in Nebraska?

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is a protected species in Nebraska. This means that it is illegal to kill, harm, or possess this bird. If you find a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker on your property, you should take steps to protect it and its habitat.

What does it mean when woodpeckers pecking at your house?

Woodpeckers are known to peck at houses for a variety of reasons. One reason is that they are looking for food. Woodpeckers will peck at houses made of wood in order to find insects to eat. Another reason woodpeckers may peck at your house is because they think it is a tree.

Woodpeckers will often mistake houses for trees and will try to build a nest. If you find that woodpeckers are pecking at your house, you should take steps to deter them. One way to do this is to cover the area they are pecking with chicken wire or another type of mesh.

Do woodpeckers live in Nebraska?

Yes, woodpeckers do live in Nebraska. The most common type of woodpecker in Nebraska is the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. These birds are most often seen in the spring and summer months.

What does a woodpecker look like in Nebraska?

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is a medium-sized woodpecker with a black back, white wing bars, and a yellow belly. They are most often seen in the spring and summer months in Nebraska.