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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Did You Know? 15 Incredible White Headed Woodpecker Facts

Read these White-Headed Woodpecker facts to know more about this bird.

The white-headed woodpecker, Picoides Albolarvatus as it is scientifically known, belongs to the Picidae family and genus Leuconotopicus. It is also considered to belong to the genus dryobates and thus, the white-headed woodpecker Dryobates Albolarvatus is this woodpecker's other binomial name.   It gets its name as this species has a white head. This species live in mountains and forests in western North America ranging from British Columbia in Canada, Washington, Oregon, and California. It inhabits mountains with pine forests and sometimes coniferous forests. These birds are associated with ponderosa pine and sugar pine forests. This species is known to feed on pines, or seeds in the pine cones and insects by foraging in the bark of trees. This species is black and has a white head as the name suggests. This species does not have a large bill, they are known to have short and sharp bills. They are also known to have white wing patches, the males and juveniles also have a red patch on the back of their head but females do not have that patch and thus, it becomes easy to differentiate among adults. The conservation status of this species is Least Concern, although the population is known to be declining due to loss of old and mature ponderosa pine trees. Breeding is monogamous and long term bonds are formed. Nests are built or constructed in the bark of dead or collapsed trees. The family stays together until the chicks are independent and both the parents take care of the young ones. The calls or the sounds of this bird is known as drumming.

It is fascinating to know about this white-headed woodpecker (Picoides albolarvatus) and if you are interested, read about ivory-billed woodpecker facts and red-headed woodpecker too.

White Headed Woodpecker Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a white headed woodpecker?

The white-headed woodpecker, Picoides Albolarvatus as is scientifically known, is a bird.

What class of animal does a white headed woodpecker belong to?

It belongs to the class of Aves of birds.

How many white headed woodpecker are there in the world?

There is no exact number or count for these woodpeckers recorded.

Where does a white headed woodpecker live?

These birds live in mountains and forests in western North America ranging from British Columbia in Canada, Washington, Oregon, and California.

What is a white headed woodpecker's habitat?

The habitat of these woodpeckers is limited to mountainous pine forests and sometimes coniferous forests. These birds are associated with ponderosa pine and sugar pine forests.

Who do white headed woodpecker live with?

These birds are known to live alone or in pairs.

How long does a white headed woodpecker live?

These birds or woodpeckers live for about 10 years or more in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

Most species of woodpeckers are known to form long-term bonds, and thus breeding is considered to be monogamous. Nest construction takes place in April and early May. The nests are mostly built-in collapsed and dead trees. Around 3-5 eggs are laid in May or June. Incubation takes place for about 14 days and it is done by both the parents. Both the parents take care of the chicks until they leave the nest and the young ones are known to leave the nest after about 26 days.  

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of these woodpeckers or these birds is Least Concern.

White Headed Woodpecker Fun Facts

What do white headed woodpecker look like?

The body color and the bill of this bird are some of its distinguishing features.

Woodpeckers are black in color with a white head. Woodpeckers have stripes on their wings and a small stripe behind the eye which is black in color. Their throat color is also white. The bill of this woodpecker is short but sharp and black in color and the feet and legs are also black in color. The wings and tail are long. The primary feathers are white in color and it has been observed that these white primary feathers make or form a crescent shape. As it is a medium-sized bird, the body of this bird is considered to be slender but not very slender. Males and the young ones or the juveniles have a small red patch on the back of the head.

How cute are they?

These birds are considered beautiful because of the coloring of their plumage.

How do they communicate?

Not much information is available regarding the communication of these woodpeckers but these birds are known to produce calls that might be high-pitched and are also observed to produce drummings.

How big is a white headed woodpecker ?

Woodpeckers are considered to be similar in size to robins and hairy woodpeckers and are slightly larger than downy woodpeckers and smaller than a northern flicker. These are 9.44 in (240 mm) long.

How fast can a white headed woodpecker fly?

The exact speed of this woodpecker is unknown but they are known to be fast.

How much does a white headed woodpecker weigh?

These white-headed woodpeckers weigh around 0.11-0.15 lb (0.052-0.068 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for the males and females of this species.

What would you call a baby white headed woodpecker ?

There is no particular name for the baby of white-headed woodpeckers but in general, they are referred to as chicks, young, and juveniles.

What do they eat?

These birds mostly feed on insects by stripping the bark of the trees and finding insects. White-headed woodpeckers also look out for pine cones in trees and feed on the seeds of the pines. These birds drill into the pine cones to find seeds. These birds are known to also feed on berries and nuts apart from seeds and insects. In summer, they can also be seen eating mullein seeds, it is a flowering plant.

Are they dangerous?

White-headed woodpeckers are not considered harmful or dangerous.

Would they make a good pet?

Not much information is available regarding white-headed woodpeckers as pets but it is believed that these birds do not make great pets as they are restricted to a certain type of habitat and it is difficult to manage and care for them.

Did you know...

This bird makes its nest in the largest diameter tree it is able to find or locate.

When this bird species tries to feed on the seed in the pine cones, it hangs on the sides and bottom of the cones to escape or avoid the sticky or gummy sap or liquid or juice on its feathers.

This species of bird was first described by John Cassin from a specimen collected in California.

This species is known to be one of the least studied woodpeckers in North America.

Nests made by this species are not used again and new nests are made every year.

This species has the ability to peck around twenty times per second.

The bones in their skull and the flexibility in the bill of this species protects its brain.

The black body of this species of woodpecker provides camouflage when the birds are in shady forests.

Why is the white-headed woodpecker endangered?

The population is known to be declining because of the loss of mature ponderosa pine trees.

Is white headed woodpecker endemic?

These birds are not considered endemic to a place but their habitat is known to be limited and restricted to mountains and pine forests in western North America ranging from British Columbia in Canada, Washington, Oregon, and California.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including secretary bird facts or hornbill facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our White headed Woodpecker coloring pages.

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