9 Species of Woodpeckers in Florida (with PHOTOS)

Woodpeckers in Florida are a captivating sight to behold!

Let’s look at 9 different woodpecker species found in the Sunshine State.

9 Woodpeckers in Florida

The 9 species of Woodpeckers in Florida are:

  1. Northern Flicker Woodpecker
  2. Red-headed Woodpecker
  3. Ivory-billed Woodpecker
  4. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  5. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  6. Pileated Woodpeckers
  7. Red-cockaded Woodpecker
  8. Hairy Woodpecker
  9. Downy Woodpecker

Let’s dive into the detailed facts and pictures about each!

1. Northern Flicker Woodpecker

Northern Flicker Woodpecker

The Northern Flicker is a large, strikingly colorful woodpecker that can be found throughout Florida.

Distinguished by their spotted plumage and conspicuous black crescent on the chest, these birds are a delight to watch as they forage on the ground for insects.

Their distinctive call, a loud, rolling “wicka-wicka-wicka,” sets them apart from other woodpeckers.

2. Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-headed Woodpeckers are easily recognizable by their vibrant red head and contrasting black and white body.

Found in various habitats throughout Florida, from pine forests to suburban areas, these striking birds are known for their acrobatic flight and loud, harsh calls.

Their habit of caching food in tree crevices makes them an interesting species to observe.

3. Ivory-billed Woodpecker

Ivory-billed Woodpecker

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker, once thought to be extinct, has been the subject of much debate and controversy in recent years.

This large, elusive bird with a striking black and white pattern and a distinctive double knock drumming sound, was once native to Florida.

While their current existence remains uncertain, the search for this rare species continues to captivate bird enthusiasts.

4. Red-bellied Woodpecker

The Red-bellied Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker found throughout Florida.

Its distinctive red cap and nape, combined with its black-and-white barred back, make it easily recognizable.

These woodpeckers are known for their strong, chisel-like bill and can often be seen clinging to tree trunks, searching for insects in the bark.

5. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is a migratory woodpecker that spends its winters in Florida.

Characterized by its black and white striped face, red crown, and yellowish belly, these birds can be found in a variety of habitats, from pine forests to swamps.

They’re known for drilling distinctive rows of small holes in trees to feed on the sap that flows out.

6. Pileated Woodpeckers

Pileated Woodpeckers are the largest woodpeckers in Florida and easily recognized by their size, bright red crest, and loud, echoing calls.

Inhabiting mature forests, they excavate large, rectangular cavities in dead trees for nesting and feeding purposes.

These cavities are crucial for many other species, making Pileated Woodpeckers a keystone species in Florida’s forests.

7. Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Red-cockaded Woodpecker

The Red-cockaded Woodpecker, a small black and white bird with a barely visible red streak on its head, is a rare and endangered species in Florida.

Found exclusively in mature pine forests, they rely on living, older trees for nesting.

Their unique nesting habits and specialized habitat requirements make them vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation.

8. Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpeckers are medium-sized woodpeckers that closely resemble the smaller Downy Woodpecker in appearance.

Their black-and-white striped faces, along with a touch of red on the head for males, make them easily recognizable.

However, they can be distinguished from the Downy Woodpecker by their larger size and longer, more robust bill.

These birds can be found in forests, woodlands, and even backyards throughout Florida.

9. Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest woodpecker species found in Florida.

With their black-and-white striped faces and a red patch on the head of males, they resemble their larger cousin, the Hairy Woodpecker.

They can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, parks, and suburban areas, making them a familiar sight to many Floridians.

Their small size and agile movements make them delightful to watch as they forage for insects in tree bark and branches.

See Also:

What’s The Largest Woodpecker In Florida?

The largest woodpecker in Florida is the Pileated Woodpecker. It measures between 17-19 inches and has a wingspan of 26-30 inches.

This species has several distinctive features, including bright red crowns, strong black and white stripes on their backs, and bright white bellies with black spots.

The largest and smallest Florida woodpecker.

Their wings are black and have white patches on the shoulders.

Pileated Woodpeckers can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, meadows, wetlands, and suburban areas.

They are most active during the day but they do occasionally come out to feed at night.

What’s The Largest Woodpecker In Florida?

The smallest woodpecker species in Florida is the Downy Woodpecker. It measures between 6-7 inches and has a wingspan of 9-11 inches.

This species is identified by its black and white striped back, bright red patch on the back of the head, small beak, and white belly with black spots.

They are most active during the day but they do occasionally come out to feed at night.

Downy Woodpeckers can be found in a variety of habitats, including forests, meadows, wetlands, and suburban areas.

They prefer to feed on insects but also eat fruits and nuts.

What is the most common woodpecker in Florida?

The most commonly spotted woodpecker in Florida is the Red-bellied Woodpecker.

This species lives in all types of forests, from swamps to dry hammocks.

It prefers open woodlands and pine savannas but can also be found in suburban areas and towns.

They are especially fond of live oaks and acorns, which form a large part of their diet.

Red-bellied woodpeckers are year-round residents and can be seen drumming, flitting through the trees, or clinging to trunks and branches in search of food.

What’s The Rarest Woodpecker In Florida?

The rarest woodpecker that is found in Florida is the Ivory-billed Woodpecker.

This species is mostly found in Cuba and the southeastern United States.

It prefers mature cypress or tupelo swamps, where it feeds primarily on beetles and larvae hidden under dead wood.

Sightings of this bird are extremely rare due to its low population numbers, but there have been sporadic reports of individuals in Florida since the 1930s.

FAQs About Woodpeckers In Florida

What is the most common woodpecker in Florida?

The Red-bellied Woodpecker is the most common woodpecker in Florida, easily recognized by its red cap, nape, and black-and-white barred back.

What types of woodpeckers are found in Florida?

Florida is home to nine woodpecker species, including the Northern Flicker, Red-headed, Ivory-billed, Red-bellied, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Pileated, Red-cockaded, Hairy, and Downy Woodpeckers.

What is the big woodpecker in Florida?

The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in Florida, known for its size, bright red crest, and loud, echoing calls.

How common are woodpeckers in Florida?

Woodpeckers are fairly common in Florida, with nine species found throughout the state, inhabiting forests, woodlands, and even suburban areas.

Are woodpeckers rare in Florida?

Most woodpecker species in Florida are not rare, except for the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker and the elusive Ivory-billed Woodpecker, which is believed to be extinct.

What is the rarest bird in Florida?

The Ivory-billed Woodpecker, once native to Florida, is considered the rarest bird in the state due to its uncertain existence and debated sightings.

What is the most common Florida bird?

The most common bird in Florida is the Northern Cardinal, recognized by its bright red plumage and melodic songs.

What woodpeckers in Florida have a red head?

The Red-headed Woodpecker and the Pileated Woodpecker are two species in Florida with distinctive red heads.

What bird in Florida has a red mohawk?

The Pileated Woodpecker, with its bright red crest resembling a “mohawk,” can be found in Florida’s mature forests.

What are the sounds of a Florida woodpecker?

Florida woodpeckers produce various sounds, including the loud “wicka-wicka-wicka” of the Northern Flicker, the harsh call of the Red-headed Woodpecker, and the echoing calls of the Pileated Woodpecker.

Final thoughts about Woodpeckers In Florida

Woodpeckers are a valuable part of the Florida ecosystem and play an important role as both a species that disperses seeds and pollinates plants, as well as being an indicator of habitat health.

They require specific types of habitats to survive, so it is important to have conservation strategies in place to protect suitable habitats for these unique birds.

It is also important to remember that woodpeckers are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and should be left undisturbed.

By learning about woodpecker species in Florida, we can better understand how our actions impact wildlife and take steps to ensure their survival for generations to come.

Woodpeckers are an important part of the state’s biodiversity and we should do our best to protect them.

Dale Garrett

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing his 15 years of my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at dale@chipperbirds.com for assistance.