Red Headed Woodpecker Arkansas - Ultimate Guide

Hammad Tariq

· 10 min read
Red Headed Woodpecker Arkansas

The Red-headed Woodpecker, a striking bird with its vibrant crimson crown, is a captivating resident of Arkansas. With its distinct appearance and lively behavior, this woodpecker species stands out against the natural backdrop of the state's diverse landscapes.

The woodlands, forests, and open areas of Arkansas provide an ideal habitat for these birds, allowing them to thrive and capture the attention of birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts alike. In this exploration, we delve into the unique characteristics, habitat, and presence of the Red-headed Woodpecker in the beautiful state of Arkansas.

8 Types of Red Headed Woodpecker Arkansas

Red-headed Woodpecker

The Red-headed Woodpecker is a striking bird known for its vibrant plumage and distinctive appearance. In Arkansas, these woodpeckers are commonly found in various habitats, including forests, woodlands, parks, and open areas with scattered trees. They are easily identifiable by their bold red heads, black bodies, and white wing patches, making them stand out against the greenery.

These woodpeckers are skilled foragers, using their strong bills to excavate insects from trees and probe for hidden prey. They have a varied diet, feeding on insects, nuts, seeds, fruits, and occasionally small vertebrates. Their habit of storing food by wedging it into crevices in trees sets them apart from other woodpecker species.

Red-headed Woodpeckers are known for their distinct calls and drumming sounds, which echo through the forested areas of Arkansas. They are year-round residents in the state, although their numbers have declined in some regions due to habitat loss and competition from invasive species.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

The Red-bellied Woodpecker is a charismatic bird commonly found in the woodlands and forests of Arkansas. Despite its name, the red coloration on its belly is often difficult to see, as it is usually pale and blends with its other plumage. The most striking feature of this woodpecker is the vibrant red crown on its head, which is easily noticeable.

Adaptable and versatile, Red-bellied Woodpeckers are skilled foragers, feeding on a diverse diet that includes insects, fruits, nuts, and seeds. They are equipped with strong bills that aid in drilling into wood to uncover insects and create nesting cavities. These woodpeckers are often observed clinging to tree trunks or branches, searching for food.

Known for their distinctive rolling call and rhythmic drumming, Red-bellied Woodpeckers are vocal birds, making their presence known in the Arkansas woodlands. They are year-round residents in the state, and their adaptability to various habitats, including suburban areas, makes them a familiar sight at backyard bird feeders.

Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated Woodpecker, a magnificent and distinctive bird, graces the woodlands of Arkansas with its impressive appearance and behavior. Known for its striking black and white plumage and distinctive flaming-red crest, the Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker in North America.

This bird's unmistakable appearance is complemented by its unique behaviors. The Pileated Woodpecker is an adept forager, using its powerful bill to excavate rectangular holes in trees, in search of ants, beetles, and other insects. Its feeding activity leaves behind distinctive rectangular holes, signaling its presence in the Arkansas forest.

Pileated Woodpeckers are often observed flying effortlessly through the trees or drumming loudly on dead wood to communicate with other members of their species. Their large size and vibrant appearance make them a charismatic and sought-after bird for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts in Arkansas.

Downy Woodpecker

The Downy Woodpecker, a charming and petite bird, is a common sight in the woodlands of Arkansas. Recognized for its small size and distinct black and white plumage, this woodpecker is the smallest and most widespread woodpecker species in North America.

Measuring around six inches in length, the Downy Woodpecker is often mistaken for its larger relative, the Hairy Woodpecker. However, the Downy can be identified by its shorter bill, giving it a more diminutive appearance. In Arkansas, these delightful birds can be found in various habitats, including forests, parks, and suburban areas.

Downy Woodpeckers are skilled foragers, using their strong bills to drum on trees and search for insects, larvae, and seeds. Their rhythmic drumming serves as a form of communication and establishes territory. Despite their small size, Downy Woodpeckers are agile climbers, exploring tree trunks and branches in search of food.

Hairy Woodpecker

The Hairy Woodpecker, a larger cousin to the Downy Woodpecker, is another captivating avian resident of Arkansas. Known for its striking black and white plumage, the Hairy Woodpecker is distinguishable from the Downy by its larger size and longer bill.

Measuring approximately nine to ten inches in length, the Hairy Woodpecker shares a similar black and white coloration with the Downy, making identification a nuanced task. However, the Hairy Woodpecker boasts a bill that is nearly as long as its head, setting it apart from the smaller Downy.

These woodpeckers are versatile in their habitat choices, adapting well to both forested areas and suburban landscapes. In Arkansas, you may encounter them exploring tree trunks, branches, and even the ground in search of insects, larvae, and seeds.

Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker, a captivating woodpecker species, graces the skies and woodlands of Arkansas with its unique features and vibrant appearance. Known for its distinctive markings and behavior, the Northern Flicker stands out among the state's avian inhabitants.

Characterized by a beige to brown body adorned with black bars and spots, the Northern Flicker is easily recognizable. However, what truly sets it apart is its eye-catching yellow or red crescent-shaped patch on the nape and its striking black bib. In flight, the white rump patch becomes visible, adding to its visual appeal.

Unlike many woodpeckers, the Northern Flicker often forages for food on the ground. Its diet includes ants, beetles, and other insects, making it an essential player in maintaining ecological balance. These woodpeckers are also known for their drumming and vocalizations, creating a unique soundscape in the Arkansas woodlands.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, a captivating woodpecker species, frequents the woodlands of Arkansas, adding vibrancy to the state's birdlife. Recognizable by its distinct markings and feeding habits, this bird brings a unique charm to the local avian scene.

With a black and white plumage, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker sports a bright red crown and throat, making it easily distinguishable. This woodpecker's name is a nod to its feeding behavior—it drills holes in trees to feed on sap and the insects attracted to it. These characteristic sap wells are not only a food source for the sapsucker but also benefit other bird species and mammals.

Found in various forested habitats, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker's presence enriches the biodiversity of Arkansas. It often migrates to the state during the breeding season, making it a seasonal but welcomed visitor.

Lewis's Woodpecker

Lewis's Woodpecker, a distinctive and charismatic bird species, graces the landscapes of Arkansas with its unique appearance and fascinating behaviors. This woodpecker, named after Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, showcases a blend of colors that sets it apart from other woodpeckers.

With striking dark plumage, a pink-red face, and a gray collar, Lewis's Woodpecker is a master of aerial acrobatics. Unlike typical woodpeckers, it catches insects on the wing, displaying a behavior more reminiscent of flycatchers. These woodpeckers are often spotted perched conspicuously on dead trees or poles, scanning the surroundings for flying insects.

While Lewis's Woodpeckers are primarily found in western regions, occasional sightings in Arkansas during migration or as rare visitors add excitement to the local birdwatching scene.


In summary, the woodpecker species found in Arkansas, including the Red-headed Woodpecker, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and Lewis's Woodpecker, contribute to the rich biodiversity of the state.

Their varied appearances, behaviors, and habitats offer birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts unique opportunities to observe and appreciate avian life.

Conservation efforts aimed at preserving forests, woodlands, and suitable habitats are crucial for the continued existence and well-being of these remarkable woodpecker species in Arkansas, ensuring they remain a cherished part of the state's natural heritage for generations to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are red-headed woodpeckers endangered in Arkansas?

As of the last assessment, the red-headed woodpecker population in Arkansas is declining, but they are not currently classified as endangered in the state. However, conservation efforts are crucial to ensure their survival.

Are red-headed woodpeckers rare in USA?

Yes, red-headed woodpeckers are considered less common than other woodpecker species in the USA. While their population has declined, they are not officially classified as rare, but conservation efforts are important.

Are woodpeckers protected in Arkansas?

Woodpeckers are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in the United States, including Arkansas. It is illegal to harm, capture, or possess them without proper permits. Conservation efforts are essential for their well-being.

About Hammad Tariq

Hammad Tariq, the passionate founder and author of HappiestBeaks, is a dedicated bird enthusiast, caretaker, and lover. With a deep-seated affection for avian companions, he channels his expertise into crafting insightful and informative blogs on bird care and behavior.