Home Woodpeckers and allies - PICIFORMES Picidae Red-headed Woodpecker - Melanerpes erythrocephalus
Red-headed Woodpecker PDF Print E-mail

Red-headed Woodpecker Melanerpes erythrocephalus
L 9 1/4" (24 cm).

Song or calls:
Loud “queer, queer, queer,” and a hen-like “ker-r-r-ruck, ker-ruck-ruck-ruck.”
Listen (UNL audio)
Listen (UNL audio2)

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photo by Phil Swanson


Description: Sexes similar. Bright red head, neck, and throat; blue-black back; and snowy white underparts. Distinctive white inner wing patches and white rump are highly visible in both flying and perched birds. Juvenile has a brown head, and white underparts with brown streaking.

red headed woodpecker
Habitat: Occurs in fairly open forest, woodlots, urban parks, and wooded housing areas.

Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant and summer resident across the state. More common in eastern Nebraska. Very rarely overwinters. Regular breeder.

Status: Decreasing in parts of its range due to habitat loss and competition with Starlings for nest holes.

Fun Facts: Regularly stores grasshoppers alive, for future feeding, in crevices so tight that they cannot escape. Males incubate and brood at night.



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