In North America, there are numerous distinct woodpeckers species, and Louisiana is home to eight of them. We’ll look at each species in this article, and talk about where and when you might see one in Louisiana. I’ll also provide you with some advice on how to attract woodpeckers to your yard at the conclusion of the article.
8 SPECIES OF WOODPECKERS IN LOUISIANA
Pileated Woodpecker, Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, and Red-cockaded Woodpecker are the eight species of woodpeckers found in Louisiana.
1. PILEATED WOODPECKER
Length: 15.8-19.3 in
Weight: 8.8-12.3 oz
Wingspan: 26.0-29.5 in
The Pileated Woodpecker, Louisiana’s and North America’s biggest woodpecker, is the first in line. The Ivory-billed Woodpecker is the sole giant woodpecker left in North America, although it is likely that they are extinct. Throughout Louisiana, you can find Pileated Woodpeckers year-round.
Look for Pileated Woodpeckers in mature woodlands if you want to spot one. They prefer rotted wood in old, dead trees. Bird feeders are occasionally visited by Pileated Woodpeckers, who like suet, but they are still uncommon. I regularly see Downys, Hairys, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers at the suet feeder in my new house, but I haven’t seen one yet. They are very big, so if you see one, grab your camera. Pileateds are difficult to mistake with any other kind of bird.
2. RED-HEADED WOODPECKER
Length: 7.5-9.1 in
Weight: 2.0-3.2 oz
Wingspan: 16.5 in
The Red-headed Woodpecker is easily recognized by its entirely red/crimson head and may be found throughout Louisiana. They’ll visit suet feeders on occasion, but some other kinds of woodpeckers are less common. They will consume a variety of nuts and fruits, as well as insects in mid-flight, in addition to suet.
Red-headed Woodpeckers may be quite hostile, and knocking eggs out or perforating them to kill the young is not uncommon. These are one of only four kinds of woodpeckers that prepare their meals in storehouses for future consumption. The Red-headed Woodpecker, on the other hand, goes even farther and covers the food with bark or wood to make it more difficult for predators to see.
3. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER
Length: 9.4 in
Weight: 2.0-3.2 oz
Wingspan: 13.0-16.5 in
All of Louisiana and much of the eastern United States are home to the Red-bellied Woodpecker. Don’t mistake them for Red-headed Woodpeckers since they have red on their heads and bellies, albeit not excessively. When there is suet available, these medium-sized woodpeckers are more common than red-heads at feeders. They favor dead trees for nesting and may be seen drinking nectar from hummingbird feeders on occasion.
Among the most prevalent kinds of woodpeckers I observe at my feeders are these. The suet feeder is their favorite, but I’ve also observed them eating sunflower seeds. They swoop into a feeder most of the time, which is somewhat bigger than other backyard feeder birds. The other birds fly away when they swoop in.
4. YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER
Length: 7.1-8.7 in
Weight: 1.5-1.9 oz
Wingspan: 13.4-15.8 in
Louisiana and the eastern half of the United States are home to the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. They migrate north to their breeding grounds in northern states and Canada, having a non-breeding range in the state. During the winter months, or late March and early April, when they migrate north, are good times to see them.
These don’t frequent bird feeders and instead consume sap as their main food source. With their long tongues, they drill holes into maple, elm, aspen, and birch trees and collect sap. They’ll eat a range of insects in addition to sap.
5. DOWNY WOODPECKER
Length: 5.5-6.7 in
Weight: 0.7-1.0 oz
Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 in
Because they do not migrate, you may see these little woodpeckers year-round in Louisiana. Almost all of the United States has a high number of them. They are the tiniest woodpeckers in North America, with a height of about They’re also frequently the first to arrive at new bird feeders, which they’re very fond of.
Sunflower seeds, millet, and peanuts are among the seeds that Downy Woodpeckers enjoy. Their white markings on their backs and underbellies, as well as their size, make them easy to distinguish. Males will also have a crimson patch on their skull.
6. RED-COCKADED WOODPECKER
Length: 7.9-9.1 in
Weight: 1.5-1.8 oz
Wingspan: 14.2 in
The range of red-cockaded woodpeckers is extremely restricted, with only a few occurrences in the United States. Louisiana is one of the states that has joined. They may be found all throughout Northern Louisiana and sections of Eastern Louisiana all year long. Their populations plummeted when much of their habitat was destroyed by logging, and they are now listed as a threatened species with 15,000 breeding birds.
These are now uncommon in the wild, and your best chance of seeing one is at a wildlife refuge.
7. HAIRY WOODPECKER
Length: 7.1-10.2 in
Weight: 1.4-3.4 oz
Wingspan: 13.0-16.1 in
You might be confused about whether you’re seeing another Downy Woodpecker in this photo. They don’t resemble each other, but they do seem similar. Hairy Woodpeckers are abundant in Louisiana, much as Downy’s. These woodpeckers have a significantly larger beak than Downy’s and are substantially bigger than him.
They’re difficult to differentiate from one another and they look similar in every way. In general, bird feeders do not appear to be as prevalent.
8. NORTHERN FLICKER
Length: 11.0-12.2 in
Weight: 3.9-5.6 oz
Wingspan: 16.5-20.1 in
Most of North America, as well as all of the United States, has northern flickers in some capacity. Since many don’t migrate and are quite common, flickers can be found throughout the year in Louisiana. Between the size of a Hairy and a Pileated Woodpecker, these big woodpeckers exist. They are some of the most vibrant birds in North America, in my opinion, and I look forward to seeing one.
The ground-hunting habits of northern flickers set them apart from other woodpeckers. They’re typically seen rummaging through debris and leaves, seeking out bugs.
HOW TO ATTRACT WOODPECKERS
Attracting woodpeckers to our feeders or yards is something we all strive for. They add a bit of excitement to the chickadees, titmice, and cardinals and are just as common. They are, however, more difficult to find and attract. Here are some advice on how to entice woodpeckers to your property.
- Many types of woodpeckers are known for visiting bird feeders, so offer them food they like. Offer both black sunflower seed and a suet feeder to attract birds. A suet feeder with a tail prop region specifically designed to attract bigger woodpeckers is a must.
- Woodpeckers prefer dead and dying trees with plenty of insect larvae for them to devour, so leave dead trees alone.
- Many woodpecker species will use nest boxes if they are put up. From May to July, pileated woodpeckers utilize nesting boxes.
- Dogwood, serviceberry, tupelo, mountain ash, strawberry, cherry, grapes, bayberry, holly, blueberries and elderberries are some of the fruits and berries that may be relished by woodpeckers.
- Make sure you provide water, particularly with a water mover or solar fountain to assist attract woodpeckers. To ensure that the fountain doesn’t stop every time the sun goes behind a cloud, solar fountains with batteries are recommended.