7 Woodpeckers In West Virgina (With Photos)

In North America, there are numerous distinct types of woodpeckers, and West Virginia is home to seven. We’ll look at each species in this piece, discuss where and when you might encounter one, and whether or not they visit backyard feeders. A few advice on how to entice woodpeckers to your property may be found at the close of the article.


Downy woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, northern flicker, pileated woodpecker, red-headed woodpecker, red-bellied woodpecker and yellow-bellied sapsucker are the seven species of woodland creatures found in West Virginia.


  • Scientific name: Dryobates pubescens
  • Length: 5.5-6.7 in
  • Weight: 0.7-1.0 oz
  • Wingspan: 9.8-11.8 in

These tiny woodpeckers can be found across West Virginia throughout the year. They’re fairly prevalent in virtually every corner of the country. They are the tiniest woodpeckers in North America, measuring about an inch long.

The white dots on the downy’s backs, as well as its pure white chest and belly, distinguish them from sparrows. They are only about the size of a sparrow. At the back of their head, males have a red patch.

The most common woodpecker species to visit bird feeders in the back yard is the downy. They enjoy suet, as well as a range of seeds including sunflower seeds, millet, and peanuts. Their small beak allows them access to the sugar water, so you might even see them visiting your hummingbird feeder.


  • Scientific name: Dryobates villosus
  • Length: 7.1-10.2 in
  • Weight: 1.4-3.4 oz
  • Wingspan: 13.0-16.1 in

You may be thinking this image is of another downy woodpecker. They don’t look similar, but they do have a similar appearance. Downy woodpeckers may be found across the United States, as well as hairy woodpeckers. and make it difficult to tell the difference between the two.

In comparison to its body size, the hairy woodpecker is considerably bigger and has a longer beak. Here’s a guide that will help you differentiate between them.

In terms of habitat and diet, these two woodpeckers are very similar. Throughout West Virginia, they can be found all year. While hairy woodpeckers may visit backyard suet feeders, they aren’t as frequently seen as downy woodpeckers. They are a bit more retiring of humans.


Scientific nameColaptes auratus

Length: 11.0-12.2 in

Weight: 3.9-5.6 oz

Wingspan: 16.5-20.1 in

In backyards all throughout the United States, these medium-sized woodpeckers are common. They’re one of the most vibrant birds in North America, in my opinion.

Unlike other woodpeckers, flickers prefer to hunt for insects on the ground rather than in trees. The black patches on their bellies, solid black bib, red patch on the back of their necks, and barred black and gray wings will help you identify them. A black mustache is worn by males.

The bright yellow feathers on the underside of their wings and tail distinguish them from the red-shafted types found in West Virginia.


  • Scientific name: Dryocopus pileatus
  • Length: 15.8-19.3 in
  • Weight: 8.8-12.3 oz
  • Wingspan: 26.0-29.5 in

In both West Virginia and North America, the pileated woodpecker is the biggest of all woodpeckers. The body is black, the face is striped, and the crest is large red. Females lack a red cheek stripe, whereas males have one.

The state’s pileated woodpeckers may be found all over, but they are more abundant in the north and west.

Look for a pileated woodpecker in mature woods if you want to see one. They prefer rotting wood on ancient, dead trees. While they are less frequent visitors than other species, pileated woodpeckers may occasionally visit backyard suet feeders, although they are often too big for all but the biggest suet feeder.


  • Scientific name: Melanerpes erythrocephalus
  • Length: 7.5-9.1 in
  • Weight: 2.0-3.2 oz
  • Wingspan: 16.5 in

The red-headed woodpecker’s vivid crimson head and black and white color-blocked body distinguish it instantly. They’re less frequent backyard guests than some other types of woodpeckers, and they’ll occasionally visit suet feeders. They’ll devour different nuts and fruits in addition to suet.

Acorns and beech nuts are among the four types of woodpeckers that store their food in caches for later use. They are one of just a few species that do so. Woodpeckers, on the other hand, go even farther by covering the meal with bark or wood to conceal their caching.

In West Virginia, red-headed woodpeckers may be found all year, although they are less common than the other backyard species.


  • Scientific name: Melanerpes carolinus
  • Length: 9.4 in
  • Weight: 2.0-3.2 oz
  • Wingspan: 13.0-16.5 in

Throughout West Virginia and much of the eastern United States, the red-bellied woodpecker can be found year-round. At feeders and in backyards, these medium-sized woodpeckers are common. Suet and bigger sized nuts will entice them.

The brilliant red stripe down the back of their skulls, as well as their heavily barred black and white wings, are the first things you’ll notice. Their breast is plain white, although the lower part of their belly is pinkish-red, which is usually not visible.

The tongue of a red-bellied woodpecker can protrude nearly 2 inches from its beak. They can lash their tongue out to steal insects from hard-to-reach areas with a barbed end and sticky spit.


  • Scientific name: Sphyrapicus varius
  • Length: 7.1-8.7 in
  • Weight: 1.5-1.9 oz
  • Wingspan: 13.4-15.8 in

During the spring and summer, the yellow-bellied sapsucker may be found across most of West Virginia. The majority of them will migrate south in the winter.

They have a yellow wash on their white feathers and a red stripe across the top of their head, making them seem similar to the downy woodpecker at first glance. There will also be a red throat in males.

Since sap is their major food source, they aren’t often seen at bird feeders. With their long tongues, they drill holes into maple, elm, aspen, and birch trees and collect sap. Their presence is signaled by a row of tiny holes on a tree trunk. They’ll eat a range of insects, some of which get stuck in the sticky sap around their wells, in addition to sap.


Those of us who enjoy seeing various species of birds in the garden want to attract as many as we can. Woodpeckers may be a little more difficult to attract and prefer more particular foods than many songbirds. To make your yard a more attractive place for woodpeckers to visit, here are a few tips.

  • Many types of woodpeckers are courageous enough to visit feeders, so offer them food they like. Suet is the optimum food for attracting woodpeckers, however other species will eat seeds and nuts. Make sure to purchase a suet feeder with a tail prop area that will attract larger woodpecker species.
  • Woodpeckers like dead and dying trees that are simple to bore holes in and have plenty of insect larvae for them to devour. Leave dead trees alone.
  • Woodpeckers may occasionally enjoy fruits and berries like dogwood, serviceberry, tupelo, mountain ash, strawberry, cherry, grapes, bayberry, holly, blueberries, apples, mulberry and brambles. Plant native fruit-bearing plants and trees.
  • Woodpeckers, like other birds, will utilize bird baths, so have one nearby with a water mover or solar fountain to help attract them.

Leave a Comment