The Fascinating Woodpeckers of North Carolina: A Guide to the Different Types

North Carolina is a great state for birdwatching, and woodpeckers are among the most fascinating birds found in the state. With their distinctive plumage and behaviors, woodpeckers are a delight to observe. Here are the different types of woodpeckers found in North Carolina:

1. Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker found in North Carolina, and also the most iconic. With its striking black and white plumage and bright red crest, the Pileated Woodpecker is a sight to behold. It is a year-round resident in North Carolina and can be found in mature forests throughout the state.

2. Red-bellied Woodpecker

The Red-bellied Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker with black and white plumage and a distinctive red cap and nape. Despite its name, the red belly of the Red-bellied Woodpecker is rarely visible. It is a year-round resident in North Carolina and can be found in woodlands, parks, and backyards.

3. Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is a small and common woodpecker found in North Carolina. It has black and white plumage and a distinctive red patch on the back of its head. The Downy Woodpecker is a year-round resident in North Carolina and can be found in woodlands, parks, and backyards.

4. Hairy Woodpecker

The Hairy Woodpecker is a larger woodpecker that is similar in appearance to the Downy Woodpecker. It has black and white plumage and a longer bill than the Downy Woodpecker. The Hairy Woodpecker is a year-round resident in North Carolina and can be found in woodlands, parks, and backyards.

5. Red-headed Woodpecker

The Red-headed Woodpecker is a striking bird with a bright red head and neck and black and white wings. It is a summer resident in North Carolina and can be found in open woodlands and forest edges. The Red-headed Woodpecker is known for its acrobatic foraging behavior, as it can be seen catching insects in mid-air.

6. Red-cockaded Woodpecker

The Red-cockaded Woodpecker is an endangered species of woodpecker that is found in the pine forests of eastern North Carolina. It has black and white plumage and a small red spot on its head. The Red-cockaded Woodpecker is known for its habit of excavating cavities in live pine trees.

By understanding the different types of woodpeckers found in North Carolina, birdwatchers can appreciate the unique characteristics and behaviors of these fascinating birds. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or just starting, North Carolina’s woodpecker species offer an exciting and rewarding birdwatching experience.