Nature Journal
with Photos

Red-headed Woodpecker
Identification Tips
(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)
General Information
- Sexes similar
- Fairly large, strikingly black and white woodpecker

- Bright red head and neck
- White breast, belly, rump, and vent
- Black back and wings with prominent white
   secondaries visible in flight and at rest
- Black tail

- Mottled brown head and neck
- White breast, belly, and rump variably marked with
   brown streaking
- Dark brown back and upperwings with paler edgings
- White secondaries broken by brown lateral bars
- Dark brown tail

Similar species
Entirely red head of adult should easily separate it from all but Red-breasted Sapsucker (which does not overlap in range, and has patterned back, yellow belly, and a different wing pattern).

Note the Red-headed Woodpecker's different position of the white wing patch (especially in flight), white belly, and larger size. It may be confused with the largely dissimilar Red-bellied Woodpecker at times, but attention to the gray face and throat, and barred back and wings of the Red-bellied should eliminate any confusion.
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