Woodpeckers in Arkansas

Arkansas attracts abundant wildlife due to its diverse natural resources, clear water bodies, and mild climate. Among the 400 bird species, woodpeckers are famous for their vibrant colors and tendency to inhabit residential areas. Eight permanent species and two accidental species are found in the Natural State, of which the red-bellied woodpecker is the most common.

Woodpeckers in Arkansas (AR)

Different Types of Woodpeckers Found in Arkansas

NameIdentifying FeaturesWhere They Are Found in Arkansas
Red-bellied WoodpeckerRed crown and nape, pale belly, and zebra-striped backCommon in woodlands, forests, and urban areas
Yellow-bellied SapsuckerBlack and white striped head, yellow bellyOccasional migrant, seen in wooded areas
Downy WoodpeckerWhite belly, small size, and white spotsCommon in a variety of wooded habitats statewide
Northern FlickerBrown with black spots, red patch on napeCommon in open areas, parks, and woodlands
Hairy WoodpeckerSimilar to Downy but larger with a longer billFound in wooded areas and forests throughout the state
Pileated WoodpeckerLarge size, black with white stripesPresent in mature forests and wooded regions
Red-headed WoodpeckerDistinctive red head and white bellyFound in open woodlands, parks, and savannas
Red-cockaded WoodpeckerWhite cheek patches, black cap, and barred backRarely seen in southern pine forests
Lewis’s WoodpeckerPinkish-red belly, gray collar, dark faceSporadic, found in open woodlands and mountainous regions
Ivory-billed WoodpeckerExtremely rare and possibly extinct, it was once known for its large size and ivory-colored billHistorically found in forested areas (rare now)

The red-cockaded woodpecker is an endangered species inhabiting the state. The estimated population of this rare bird is 100-200 colonies or 200-400 individuals.

The Lewis’s woodpecker is an accidental species spotted only four times in Mount Sequoyah, with the last sighting in 2022. 

The ivory-billed woodpecker was considered extinct in Arkansas in the mid-twentieth century until it was sighted in 2004 in the Big Woods. However, researchers and ornithologists from Cornell University could not confirm the sighting records. Since then, much research has been conducted to relocate the bird, but it has not succeeded. The destruction of its habitat is the main reason for the disappearance of the third-largest woodpecker in the world.

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