Connecticut has a lot of gorgeous wildlife, even though it is one of the smallest states. Birds may be found in great numbers in the state, and several distinct types of woodpeckers may be found. We’re going to learn about Connecticut’s seven different types of woodpeckers and provide some advice on when and where to see them for this article.
SPECIES OF WOODPECKERS IN CONNECTICUT
Pileated Woodpeckers, Red-headed Woodpeckers, Red-bellied Woodpeckers, Yellow-bellied Woodpeckers, Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, and Northern Flickers are the seven different species of woodpecocks found in Connecticut.
These species may be seen year-round in Connecticut, but they are most often sighted at specific seasons.
1. PILEATED WOODPECKER
Length: 15.8-19.3 in
Weight: 8.8-12.3 oz
Wingspan: 26.0-29.5 in
The following are some of the most important features of Pileated Woodpeckers. With huge, flaming-red crests on the crowns of their heads and bold white stripes down the sides of their necks, they are the biggest woodpeckers in North America.
These woodpeckers, who sometimes drum into trees with their long, chisel-like bills or call with their loud, high-pitched whinny, are frequently heard before they are seen.
In Northern Connecticut, look for Pileated Woodpeckers year-round in woodlands with plenty of tall trees and rotting logs. These birds are known to leave distinctive, rectangular-shaped holes in wood while they are in the region, signaling their presence.
Pileated Woodpeckers have been known to rip apart stumps and other big pieces of dead wood in order to access carpenter ants and other insects. Look for them at the bottom of trees, feeding on the ground. Look for them at any height in the forest. They eat wild fruit, berries, and nuts in addition to insects.
2. RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Length: 7.5-9.1 in
Weight: 2.0-3.2 oz
Wingspan: 16.5 in
The south-eastern and central regions of America are home to the red-headed woodpeckers, however Connecticut has a breeding population during the spring and summer.
With short tails, powerful beaks, and brilliant red heads, they are medium-sized birds. The upper regions of their bodies are black, while the underside is bright white, with half black, half white wings completing the picture.
Little colonies of these woodpeckers are common. Clearings, forest borders, and other semi-open environments are preferred by them. Listen for their harsh “wee-ah” cries to identify them. Listen for strong thumping on trees.
One of the most omnivorous woodpeckers is the Red-headed Woodpecker. They will eagerly take advantage of additional food sources, such as flying insects, wild fruits, nuts, seeds, and occasionally even tiny rodents and other birds’ eggs, in addition to foraging in trees.
3. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER
Length: 9.4 in
Weight: 2.0-3.2 oz
Wingspan: 13.0-16.5 in
Connecticut is home to the red-bellied woodpecker, which is a specie that ranges across northern North America. Because they have red markings on their heads, they are frequently confused with Red-headed Woodpeckers and are somewhat more common than this species. Their entire plumage is light, with bold black and white patterning on their backs.
Woodlands, groves, and forests with bodies of water are home to red-bellied woodpeckers, which are fairly common. They’ve been spotted in urban settings like parks and suburbs, and they’re adaptable birds. One of the best ways to find these woodpeckers is by learning their rolling calls. They scream and yell frequently during the spring and summer, giving you a great view opportunity.
4. YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER
Length: 7.1-8.7 in
Weight: 1.5-1.9 oz
Wingspan: 13.4-15.8 in
Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers aren’t particularly yellow, despite their name. Their plumage is mostly black and white, with bright red foreheads and white stripes down the sides of their necks. They may have some yellowish markings on their pale undersides.
These little woodpeckers have short bills and long wings, and they are only about a foot tall. They sometimes have an alert expression by holding their feathers up to a point on the top of their heads.
While a few birds may stay around to breed in Northern Connecticut in the spring and summer, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are mostly migratory visitors passing through Connecticut. They prefer aspens and stick to hardwood and coniferous woodlands. These birds will often build nests in the cavities of these trees.
Little, evenly spaced rows of sap wells are drilled by yellow-bellied sapsuckers. Next time you’re out birding, look for these identifying indicators to determine if you’re in the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker region.
5. DOWNY WOODPECKER
Length: 5.5-6.7 in
Weight: 0.7-1.0 oz
Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 in
In Connecticut, the Downy Woodpeckers may be found in a variety of environments, including open woodlands, forest borders, urban parks, and even backyards. These are foragers that are opportunistic. In addition to eating in tall grass and weeds, they drill into trees, like most woodpeckers do. They also feed at backyard feeders.
Downy Woodpeckers are in fact one of the most frequent woodpecker species to visit feeders. In Connecticut and North America, the downy woodpecker is the smallest species. In the winter, they congregate with other flocks of tiny birds, including chickadees and nuthatches, to stay warm in bigger numbers.
Since their black and white coloring is nearly identical, these woodpeckers are frequently mistaken for Hairy Woodpeckers. Nonetheless, the Downy Woodpeckers have proportionately shorter bills than other woodpeckers. The Hairy Woodpecker lacks black marks on its white tail feathers, whereas they have them. Another way to tell them apart is by listening for the high-pitched “pik” of the Downy Woodpecker.
6. HAIRY WOODPECKER
Length: 7.1-10.2 in
Weight: 1.4-3.4 oz
Wingspan: 13.0-16.1 in
The Downy Woodpecker’s look-alike is the Hairy Woodpecker, which is bigger. The Hairy Woodpecker’s bill is substantially longer than that of the Common Woodpecker, and the two birds have significant differences in size.
Hairy Woodpeckers are commonly seen perched on the sides of trees or around the trunks, and they prefer to stay near trees foraging. They are less likely to visit backyard feeders, but they may appear on occasion and need taller trees and more forested areas than Downy Woodpeckers.
Year-round, Connecticut is home to Hairy Woodpeckers. They search the holes for any insects that may have been left behind, taking advantage of the bigger Pileated Woodpecker’s gaps. To conclude any remaining sap, they’ll also visit holes dug by sapsuckers. In comparison to other woodpeckers of the same size, these woodpeckers rely on wood-boring insects and excavate a lot.
7. NORTHERN FLICKER
Length: 11.0-12.2 in
Weight: 3.9-5.6 oz
Wingspan: 16.5-20.1 in
Throughout Connecticut, Northern Flickers have a year-round habitat. Because of the gray-brown plumage that covers the majority of their bodies, they stand out from other species. Their undersides are similarly covered in dark patterns, and their tail feathers are colorful. Birds in the east have yellow markings, while those in the west have red markings. The birds are bright and colorful in North Carolina.
Large woodpeckers with slender, rounded heads, Northern Flickers look like this. They are frequently seen on the ground, where they forage for ants and other insects with their long, slightly curved bills, unlike most woodpeckers. They prefer to sit vertically on branches rather than the sides of trees when they do spend time in trees.
HOW TO ATTRACT WOODPECKERS
Attracting woodpeckers to our feeders or yards is something we greatly enjoy for many of us. Chickadees, titmice, and cardinals are very common sight, and they add a little excitement to the mix. They are, however, more difficult to see and attract. To get woodpeckers to your yard, follow these suggestions.
- Many kinds of woodpeckers are known for visiting bird feeders, so offer them food they like. Consider also providing black sunflower seed and a suet feeder. Make sure to buy a suet feeder with a tail prop area that will help draw bigger woodpeckers.
- Woodpeckers like dead and dying trees that are simple to bore holes in and abound with insect larvae. Leave them alone, because they love them.
- Many woodpecker species will use nest boxes. From May to July, pileated woodpeckers utilize nesting holes.
- Woodpeckers may occasionally enjoy fruits and berries like dogwood, serviceberry, tupelo, mountain ash, strawberry, cherry, grapes, bayberry, holly, blueberries, apples and mulberry.
- Remember the water; Woodpeckers will use bird baths just like other birds, so make sure you have a water source in place, such as with a water mover or solar fountain. To keep the fountain running continuously when the sun goes behind a cloud, solar fountains with batteries are preferable.