Fun Imperial Woodpecker Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Apr 27, 2023 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed
Imperial Woodpecker facts about the largest woodpecker species.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.7 Min

Imperial woodpeckers (Campephilus imperialis) could once be found throughout the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range of Mexico. If it still exists, it would be the largest species of woodpecker, bigger even than the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

Its scientific name is Campephilus imperialis and it is a member of the Picidae family. It prefers to live in the open forests of the Montezuma Pine.

Like other Woodpeckers, it drums, pecks wood, and preys on insects and larvae it found after scaling the bark of dead pine trees. and lives in nests it makes by drilling holes into tree trunks and branches.

Sadly, this glorious creature hasn’t been seen for a long time in the wild and has been categorized as critically endangered and some experts fear that it has perhaps undergone extinction due to the lack of any confirmed sightings. Here are some of the most interesting facts on the imperial woodpecker (Campephilus imperialis).

Hereafter, do check our other articles on neon tetra facts and tetra facts as well.

Imperial Woodpecker Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Imperial  Woodpecker?

The imperial woodpecker is a type of bird. It belongs to the family Picidae. It is a species of woodpecker bird that is famous for pecking at the wood at high speeds.

What class of animal does an Imperial  Woodpecker belong to?

The imperial woodpecker belongs to the class of Aves (birds). This species is believed to be critically endangered but many experts perhaps believe that it has undergone extinction.

How many Imperial Woodpeckers are there in the world?

It is unclear whether there are any free birds of this species left. The last imperial woodpecker was seen in the wild in the 1950s and it is believed to be extinct now in the entire world due to the lack of any confirmed sightings.

Where does an Imperial  Woodpecker live?

This bird species lived in Mexican forests with white oak trees and Durango pine trees in Western Mexico. The ivory-billed bird prefers to live in subtropical regions. They usually make their nest by pecking holes into tree barks or trunks.

What is an Imperial  Woodpecker's habitat?

Once, this free-spirited bird was widespread throughout the Sierra Madre Occidental range of mountains of Mexico. It was also found in forests and gardens of western temperate Eurasia, south to North Africa. But now there is no accurate information available on its habitat and it is feared to have gone extinct.

Who do Imperial Woodpeckers live with?

Imperial woodpeckers are solitary creatures, although sometimes this ivory-billed bird can form groups of up to four birds.

How long does an Imperial  Woodpecker live?

The Imperial Woodpecker’s average lifespan is about 155 months or 12-13 years. The imperial woodpecker searches for its food in the wild where it can be hunted.

How do they reproduce?

The Imperial woodpecker usually bred between February and June and laid up to four eggs. Both parents help with incubation and raising the young birds. The incubation period is 12-14 days.

What is their conservation status?

Is the imperial woodpecker extinct? Maybe. The imperial woodpecker, also called the Mexican ivory-billed woodpecker, is a Critically Endangered species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Likely, the species might even be extinct since it hasn’t been sighted since the 1950s.

Imperial Woodpecker Fun facts

What do Imperial Woodpeckers look like?

The imperial woodpecker would be the largest woodpecker of all if it was still around.

These birds have black and white feathers with a crest at the top of their head. The males have a red crest, whereas the female has a black crest curling forward.

How cute are they?

Although the imperial woodpecker is a glorious creature, like its relatives, it is extremely loud and dangerous with its beak, which this bird uses to drill holes into tree trunks and branches. So, it is only slightly cute.

How do they communicate?

Woodpeckers, in general, are known for their drumming sound. The drumming sound is the sound the bird makes when they are pecking away at deadwood, or hollow trees, among other things.

While some birds sing, woodpeckers make this drumming noise to communicate. Woodpeckers make the drumming sounds to either attract mates or proclaim territory. Drumming can also be used between bonded woodpeckers to communicate when they are nearby to call for help or let their mate know that there is food nearby.

How big is an Imperial  Woodpecker?

An imperial woodpecker is normally around 22-24 in (56-61 cm) in terms of length. This makes them as big as crows.

How fast can an Imperial  Woodpecker swim?

The imperial woodpecker can’t swim since this species can not swim. And they can’t fly very fast either. This bird likes to be perched on tree trunks and branches. The average speed at which a woodpecker can fly is about 18 mph (28 kph). It is ten times as big as the smallest bird, which is the bee hummingbird.

How much does an Imperial Woodpecker weigh?

The imperial woodpecker can weigh anywhere from 16-19 oz (454-539 g). If it still exists, it is the largest species of woodpecker, even bigger than the ivory-billed woodpecker.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male imperial woodpecker is called a cock, and the female imperial woodpecker is called a hen.

What would you call a baby Imperial Woodpecker?

A baby imperial woodpecker can be called a fledgling or a nestling. However, it is sometimes called a chick as well.

What do they eat?

Imperial woodpeckers and woodpeckers in the forest, in general, eat insects and bugs, particularly wood-boring insect larvae that they find underneath bark scaled from dead trees (pine trees in a forest in the case of imperial woodpeckers). Other species of woodpeckers, however, are known to eat spiders, birds’ eggs, caterpillars, and even small rodents, lizards, fruits, and nuts.

Are they aggressive?

Woodpeckers are usually aggressive and antisocial birds that even chase their enemy and fight them off to proclaim territory. A species of woodpeckers called the red-headed woodpeckers, are especially quarrelsome even towards other individuals of their species.

Would they make a good pet?

An Imperial Woodpecker wouldn’t make a good pet and is even dangerous due to its harsh pecking. A woodpecker can peck at the rate of 20 times a second and hurt you if agitated. Further, since it has not been seen for a long time, the species may be extinct.

Did you know...

The last imperial woodpecker and the largest woodpecker was last seen around the 1950s and if the imperial woodpecker still exists, it would be the biggest woodpecker species in the world. This glorious bird is about 20% bigger than the ivory-billed woodpecker and was a common sight in the montane forests of Mexico about 70 years ago.

When was the last Imperial Woodpecker seen?

The imperial woodpecker hasn’t been seen since the 1950s. There have been unconfirmed sightings of the birds in the last decade, but whether the Imperial Woodpecker was seen isn’t clear. The last confirmed sighting was in 1956 in Durango.

Why is the Imperial Woodpecker endangered?

The species is critically endangered (possibly extinct) because of loss of habitat and because they were hunted by humans. Continuous logging of large pines of the forests for their pulp and timber destroyed the imperial woodpecker’s habitat and made them a mystery bird that hasn’t been seen for almost 70 years.

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 palm cockatoo facts or eastern meadowlark facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable imperial woodpecker coloring pages.

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

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Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed

Bachelor of Law

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Abdulqudus MojeedBachelor of Law

A versatile professional with a passion for creative writing and technology. Abdulqudus is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Law from the University of Lagos and has experience as a tutor, intern assistant, and volunteer. He possesses strong organizational skills and is a detail-oriented person.

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