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Red-headed Woodpecker

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About the Red-headed Woodpecker

Also known as: Half-a-Shirt, Shirt-tail Bird, Jellycoat, Flag Bird, Flying Checkerboard
The Red-headed Woodpecker is a medium-sized species of woodpecker found in central and eastern parts of North America. It has a striking plumage of black and white topped with a bright crimson red head.

Red-headed Woodpeckers feed on a variety of items, including fruits, seeds, and nuts. Unlike other woodpecker species, they are also skilled at catching insects on the wing. Red-headed Woodpeckers are known to store food, like acorns, in tree bark for future use.

Red-headed Woodpeckers are generally non-migratory, though seasonal movement may occur depending on availability of food.

Details & Stats

Hatched Added to Birdorable on: 19 January 2017
Scientific Name Melanerpes erythrocephalus
  • Piciformes
  • Picidae
  • Melanerpes
  • M. erythrocephalus
Birdorable Family Woodpeckers
Conservation Status Near Threatened
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
(as of 18 July 2017)
Units: Imperial Metric
7.5 to 9.1 inches
16.5 inches
2. to 3.2 ounces
Range North America United States (East) Americas


From IUCN Red List:
The Red-headed Woodpecker is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2012 by BirdLife International. This species has shown long-term declines which have continued at a moderately rapid rate owing to loss and degradation of its habitat in recent decades. Consequently it is considered Near Threatened.

International Names

  • 红头啄木鸟 (Chinese)
  • datel červenohlavý (Czech)
  • Rødhovedet Spætte (Danish)
  • Roodkopspecht (Dutch)
  • punapäätikka (Finnish)
  • Pic à tête rouge (French)
  • Rotkopfspecht (German)
  • Picchio testarossa (Italian)
  • ズアカキツツキ [zuakakitsutsuki] (Japanese)
  • Rødhodespett (Norwegian)
  • dzieciur krasnoglowy (Polish)
  • Pica-pau-de-cabeça-vermelha (Portuguese)
  • Красноголовый меланерпес (Russian)
  • Carpintero Cabecirrojo (Spanish)
  • rödhuvad hackspett (Swedish)