What Do Woodpeckers Eat? A Comprehensive Guide

Woodpeckers are interesting birds that have a lot of unique features. They are known for their ability to peck wood, and they can be found in many parts of the world. In this article, we will explore what woodpeckers eat and provide a comprehensive guide on the different types of food that these birds consume.

Interesting facts about woodpeckers

Interesting facts about woodpeckers

Woodpeckers are fascinating creatures, and what they eat can be equally interesting. They belong to the Picidae family of birds, with over 200 species found all over the world. Depending on their habitat, woodpeckers mostly feed on insects, larvae, nuts and fruits.

Did you know that there are sixteen different species of woodpeckers? They can be found all over the world, except for in Antarctica. Woodpeckers vary in size, from nine inches to twenty-one inches long.

They use their sharp beaks and pointy tongues to peck away at trees in search of food. Interestingly, woodpeckers are able to withstand the high G-forces caused by repeatedly pounding their heads into trees. Drumming their heads also helps them communicate with other woodpeckers. So next time you see a woodpecker, take a moment to appreciate this unique bird!

How can I attract big woodpeckers to my yard

If you want to attract big woodpeckers to your yard, the key is providing them with a good source of food. Woodpeckers eat mainly insects and their larvae, as well as some fruits and nuts. To entice woodpeckers, you can set up bird feeders filled with suet, sunflower seeds, peanuts, and cracked corn.

You can also offer suet logs or woodpecker cakes, which are specially designed for woodpeckers. Additionally, you can set out birdhouses to give them a place to nest if they become regulars in your yard.

Furthermore, trees and other foliage provide food sources that will attract these birds. Insects such as beetles, ants, caterpillars and grubs are their primary source of food. Fruits like cherries, berries, and nuts from decaying trees also make a tasty snack for woodpeckers.

If there are already trees in your yard that are good sources of food for woodpeckers, you can even add birdhouses to the trees to encourage them to stay.

You can also set up a compost pile in your yard, as woodpeckers love to feed on the small insects and larvae that live in decaying organic matter. This can be a great way to attract woodpeckers year-round, since compost piles never go out of season.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers

Red-bellied Woodpeckers

The red-bellied woodpecker is a medium-sized species of woodpecker found in the Eastern United States and parts of Canada. It feeds mainly on insects like ants, beetles, caterpillars and grubs. They will also eat fruits such as cherries, berries, and nuts that they find while pecking at trees.

Red-bellied woodpeckers can also be attracted to birdhouses and feeders filled with sunflower seeds, suet, peanuts, or cracked corn. Suet logs and woodpecker cakes are especially attractive foods for this species of woodpecker. They will also eat insects from a compost pile in your yard.

What do Woodpeckers eat? 10 Most Common Foods

Woodpeckers are one of the most curious and interesting birds found in nature. They are known for their powerful and unique beaks, which they use to peck away at trees in search of food. As a result, what woodpeckers eat is just as fascinating as these animals themselves.

In general, woodpeckers tend to eat mostly insects, fruits, nuts, and seeds. However, what woodpeckers eat can also depend on the species of bird and the region where they live. Here are 10 of the most common foods that woodpeckers can be found munching on:

1. Insects:The most common food for woodpeckers is insects. Woodpeckers have a keen ability to find and capture these critters, which helps them survive in the wild. Common insects that woodpeckers will eat include beetles, flies, caterpillars, maggots, wasps, bees, and ants. Some species of woodpeckers have even been known to eat spiders!

2. Fruits: Woodpeckers also enjoy eating fruits like apples, pears, peaches and plums. They may also go after berries including raspberries, blackberries and blueberries.

3. Nuts: Woodpeckers are also partial to nuts like walnuts and almonds, which provide them with lots of energy-packed nutrition.

4. Seeds: These birds can often be seen picking up tiny seeds from the ground or from beneath tree bark. Sunflower seeds are a particular favorite of woodpeckers.

5. Sap: Woodpeckers love to feast on the sap produced by trees, which is full of carbohydrates and sugars that provide them with lots of energy.

6. Insect eggs: Woodpeckers also enjoy eating insect eggs, which they can find hiding in the bark of trees.

7. Grubs: Woodpeckers also like to munch on grubs, which are the larvae of certain types of insects such as beetles and ants.

8. Caterpillars: These birds can often be seen feasting on tasty caterpillars, which provide them with protein and other nutrients.

9. Hornworms: These worms are a favorite of woodpeckers and can often be seen being picked up from the ground or off of tree bark.

10. Suet: Woodpeckers also enjoy eating suet, which is a type of bird food made with beef fat and other ingredients that provide them with lots of energy.

Woodpecker diet by type

Woodpecker diet by type

Woodpeckers are one of the most fascinating birds that you will ever see. Not only do they have unique physical features, but their diet is just as interesting. Each type of woodpecker has its own set of dietary preferences, which can vary depending on the season. Here is a look at some of the most common types of woodpeckers and what they eat.

Pileated Woodpecker: Pileated woodpeckers are one of the largest and most common types of woodpeckers in North America. These birds are primarily insectivores, eating a variety of insects including beetles, ants, and caterpillars. They also consume fruits, nuts, and seeds as part of their diet.

How do Woodpeckers reach their food?

Woodpeckers use their sharp beaks to peck away at the bark of trees in order to reach the insects, grubs and other food hidden beneath. This type of foraging behavior is what gives woodpeckers their name! They are able to get into tight places that would otherwise be inaccessible due to their long tongues and stiff tails.

Woodpeckers also use their strong feet to cling onto branches and trunks when they are searching for food. This helps them to stay balanced as they search for insects and other prey in the crevices of trees. The birds also have powerful eyesight that allows them to spot potential prey from a distance.

However, finding food is not always an easy task for woodpeckers. They face a number of predators in the wild, including hawks, owls and foxes. To stay safe while they are hunting, woodpeckers fly rapidly from tree to tree in order to avoid detection and potential danger.

In addition to this, woodpeckers must also contend with the fact that their food sources may not always be available. For example, during the summer months when insect populations are low, woodpeckers may have to search longer and harder for their prey.

To help make up for this lack of food, woodpeckers often supplement their diet with berries, nuts and other sources of nutrition.

All in all, woodpeckers have a number of strategies that they use to find food in the wild. These birds are incredibly adaptable creatures that can make the most out of what is available to them in their natural habitat. So, next time you see a woodpecker pecking away at a tree, take a moment to appreciate what this amazing animal is doing!

What are woodpeckers’ predators?

What are woodpeckers' predators?

Woodpeckers are prey to a variety of predators, such as snakes, hawks, owls, cats, and even other woodpeckers. The most common predator for any type of woodpecker is the great-horned owl.

These birds of prey have sharp eyesight that can spot their target from up to 150 feet away. Hawks, snakes and cats can also be a dangerous threat to woodpeckers, especially the smaller species. All of these predators can quickly swoop in and snatch a woodpecker from its preferred perch or while it’s foraging on the ground.

What do baby woodpeckers eat?

Baby woodpeckers, or hatchlings, rely on a diet of insects and spiders for sustenance. Woodpecker parents often feed the young with small larvae and caterpillars found in nearby trees. The adult woodpeckers bring these food items back to the nest where they are fed directly to the baby birds. In addition to insects, hatchlings can also enjoy soft fruits like berries and cherries.


Woodpeckers are fascinating birds with unique eating habits. The majority of what do woodpeckers eat is insects, but they also enjoy fruits, nuts, and sap. Woodpeckers use their strong beaks to break into tree bark to access what lies beneath, like grubs and other insects.

Some species even hunt for larger prey, such as bats and lizards. Woodpeckers are opportunistic eaters that will take what is available in the environment at any given time. While woodpeckers can become pests in some situations, their diet helps reduce pesky insect populations and adds to the overall balance of nature.

As a result, woodpeckers are important creatures in the animal kingdom, and understanding what do woodpeckers eat can help give us a better appreciation for their role in nature. So next time you hear a woodpecker tapping away at your backyard tree, remember what it’s likely seeking: a tasty meal!


What is Woody Woodpecker’s favorite food?

Woody Woodpecker’s favorite food is likely insects. However, he also enjoys fruits, nuts and sap. Woody Woodpecker is an opportunistic eater, which means he will take what is available in the environment at any given time.

What is a woodpecker’s lifespan?

The average lifespan of a woodpecker is between 5 and 8 years. However, some species have been known to live up to 12 years in the wild. The longevity of woodpeckers can vary based on what environment they are living in as well as what food sources are available for them.

Do woodpeckers eat other birds?
Some woodpecker species have been known to hunt for larger prey, such as bats and lizards. However, they generally do not eat other birds. Woodpeckers are opportunistic eaters that will take what is available in the environment at any given time.

Do woodpeckers migrate?

Yes, woodpeckers migrate in the wintertime. During this period, they will search for warmer climates with more abundant food sources. Woodpeckers generally begin their migration south in late fall and may return to their original habitat as early as late winter or as late as spring.

Can woodpeckers become pests?

In some cases, woodpeckers can become pests because they are attracted to residential areas due to their abundance of food sources. They may damage trees and structures in search of food or nesting sites. It is important to take proper precautions if you believe a woodpecker has become a pest in your area.

What smells do woodpeckers hate?

Woodpeckers are repelled by certain smells, including garlic, vinegar, and peppermint. You can use these smells to deter woodpeckers from entering your backyard or garden. Additionally, you may want to consider installing a woodpecker deterrent such as an owl decoy or a sonic device that will scare away the birds.

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