Home to various historic national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, Lake Erie Shoreline, dozens of offshore islands and wildly varied habitats, Ohio is an amazing destination for bird lovers. Ohio is also a famous destination where numerous species of woodpeckers are found and this really makes it one of the most adored destinations for bird lovers. Woodpeckers are very cool birds that seem to stand on the side of a tree while they peck away at the bark. They possess truly unique adaptations like strong legs, sturdy, stiff tail feathers. So let’s have a look at the top 10 woodpeckers in Ohio some of which are permanent residents.
Woodpeckers In Ohio
1. Pileated Woodpecker
The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the biggest and most striking forest birds in Ohio typically 35-40 cm in length. It is one of the popular birds with red on its head across the USA. Pileated Woodpecker is mostly black with a red crest and bold white stripes on the head and neck. It is like a crow and flies with deep rowing wingbeats, but more irregular. It basically inhabits in the deciduous and coniferous forest with large trees and are non-migratory permanent residents and excavate their large nests in the cavities of dead trees. Pileated woodpeckers mainly feed on insects and also eat fruits, nuts, and berries. It is also one of the commonly seen woodpeckers in Pennsylvania.
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2. Red-headed Woodpecker (Migrate to Ohio)
Most popularly known as “flying checkerboard,” this gorgeous red-headed type of Woodpecker is a small or medium-sized Woodpecker in Ohio. It is an extremely beautiful woodpecker in Michigan with a crimson head, a snowy-white body, and half white, half inky black wings. In addition to catching insects by hammering at wood, red-headed Woodpeckers also catch insects in flight and hunt for them on the ground. These Woodpeckers basically reside in pine savannahs and other open forests. Red-headed Woodpecker basically feeds on insects, seeds, fruits, berries, and flies to catch insects in the air or on the ground.
3. Red-bellied Woodpecker
Belonging to the Picidae family, red-bellied Woodpeckers are pale, medium-sized strikingly barred backs and gleaming red cap and nape. The types of woodpeckers found in Arkansas come with beautiful white patches near the wingtips when they fly. They are basically found hitching along branches and trunks of medium to large trees, picking at the bark surface more often than drilling into it. They are most commonly found in eastern Woodlands and forests of old oaks to young hardwoods and pines. It is interesting to note that Red-bellied Woodpecker uses vocal signals to attract and communicate with potential mates.
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4. Downy Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker cause is small-sized and has a straight chisel-like bill, blocky head, wide shoulders. It is interesting to note that they tend to lean away from tree limbs and onto their tail feathers. Downy Woodpecker possesses a checkered black and white animal with outer tail feathers typically white with few black spots. They are mainly found in open Woodlands, particularly among deciduous forests and brushy or weedy edges. They nest in a tree cavity excavated by the nesting pair in a dead tree or limb in suburban backyards with mature trees.
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5. Yellow-bellied sapsucker (Migrate to Ohio)
The only sapsucker in eastern North America, yellow-bellied sapsucker is a medium-sized woodpecker in Florida with a long, solid white patch and a red cap (in males) that helps to distinguish it from Downy and hairy woodpeckers. The long wings extend about halfway to the tip of the stiff, pointed tall at rest. Yellow-bellied sapsuckers are completely migratory birds, spotted in the deciduous forest with making shallow holes in tree bark. It is interesting to note that the sap wells made by the yellow-bellied sapsuckers attract hummingbirds, which also feed off the sap flowing from the tree.
6. Ivory-Billed Woodpecker
Native to the bottomland hardwood forest and temperate coniferous forest of Southern America, the ivory-billed Woodpecker is the third-largest Woodpecker in the world. It is also listed as critically endangered on the IUCN red list. Ivory-billed Woodpecker possesses a shiny Black or purple tint plumage with white lines extending from the cheeks down the neck with white feathers. They are basically found in undisturbed areas of mature forest with the tree species mainly of Nutall’s oak, green ash, American elm.
Ivory-Billed Woodpecker scientifically known as Campephilus principalis considered as one of the largest woodpecker species in the world that can grow upto 20 inches in length with a total wingspan of 30 inches. The woodpecker species are critically endangered and will soon become extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It loves to thrive in regions of hardwood swamps and pine forests, with large amounts of dead and decaying trees. It is believed that the bird species pair for life and these pairs are known to travel together. The mating season is between every year between January and May.
Image Source: James St. John
7. Red-Cockaded Woodpecker
Red-Cockaded Woodpecker is endemic to Southeastern America with the habitat of once-vast longleaf pine stands. It is a medium-sized Woodpecker with distinguishing features like a black cap and nape that encircle large white cheek patches. They dig cavities in living lines softened by heartwood rot. With habitat being cut down, this species has declined drastically and was listed as endangered in 1970. The male species is identified by a small red streak on each side of its black cap called a cockade. The primary feed of the woodpecker species includes the egg, larvae, and adult stages. It is also seen eating beetles, ants, roaches, spiders, and other insects found in or on pine trees. It prefers to create its nests in mature pine forests and primarily considers longleaf pines.
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Image Source: Wikimedia
8. Black-Backed Woodpecker
Also known as the Arctic three-toed Woodpecker, Black-backed Woodpecker is a medium-size Woodpecker inhabiting the forests of North America. Black-backed Woodpecker possesses a black plumage on the head, back, wings and rump, with white throat to the belly, long tail, and white outer feathers. Males have a yellow crown patch which is absent in females. Black-backed woodpeckers are inhabitants of coniferous forests and forage in dead trees especially burned trees usually on trunks. The woodpecker species can grow upto 61 to 88 gms and can grow upto 9.1 inches in length. The total wingspan of the bird species is 15.8 to 16.5 inches. The natural predators of the woodpecker are black bears, cooper’s hawks, flying squirrels, and Douglas squirrels.
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Image Source: Wikimedia
9. Northern Flicker
Northern flicker or common flicker are fairly large woodpeckers with a slim, rounded head, slightly downcurved bill, and a long flared tail. They appear brownish all over with a white rump patch weather bright yellow tail feathers. The plumage is richly patterned with black spots. It is a migratory bird native to most of North America and maybe observed in open habitats near trees like Woodlands, edges, yards, and parks. It is interesting to note that Northern flickers make a loud, rolling rattle with a piercing tone that lasts for 7 or 8 seconds which is somehow similar to Pileated Woodpecker.
10. Hairy Woodpecker
One of the amazing woodpeckers in Ohio, Hairy Woodpecker is a medium-sized Woodpecker with a fairly square head, a long, straight chisel-like bill, and stiff long feathers that lean against tree trunks. These woodpeckers are contrastingly black and white with black wings checkered with white and white stripes on the head. These woodpeckers hitch up tree trunks and feed at the bases of trees, especially along with fallen logs and even on the ground sometimes.
Hairy Woodpecker inhabits mature deciduous forest and is mostly a permanent resident. It can grow upto 8 to 11 inches with a total wingspan of 15 to 17 inches. The avarage wieght of the woodpecker species lies between 1.5 to 3 ounces. It primarily feeds on wood-boring beetles and their larvae, along with other insects like caterpillars, millipedes, cockroaches, ants, grasshoppers, beetles, flies, and also spiders.
These are the amazing woodpeckers in Ohio. Kindly share and do post your comments.