Woodpeckers in Indiana

Indiana’s diverse range of habitats, including woodlands, forests, and even urban areas, attract as many as eight woodpecker species. It is significant, considering 22 woodpecker species live in North America. Only one is a migratory species, while the rest are year-round residents. The yellow-bellied sapsucker spends winters in Southern Indiana and then migrates through the northern part of the state. The smallest and most common is the black-and-white downy woodpecker, which has adapted equally well to wilderness and residential areas with trees.

Woodpeckers in Indiana (IN)

Different Types of Woodpeckers Found in Indiana

NameIdentifying FeaturesWhere They Are Found in Indiana
Red-bellied WoodpeckerRed cap on the headCommon throughout the state
Downy WoodpeckerSmall size, black wings with white spotsCommon in woodlands and parks
Hairy WoodpeckerSimilar to Downy but largerOften found in wooded areas
Northern FlickerBrownish body with black markingsOpen areas, fields, and yards
Pileated WoodpeckerLarge, striking red crest and black bodyIn forested regions and woodlands
Yellow-bellied SapsuckerYellow belly and red throatWooded areas, especially near sap-rich trees
Red-headed WoodpeckerBright red head and black wingsWoodlands, open areas, and suburbs
Black-backed WoodpeckerBlack back and white undersidesRare and mainly in northern forests

The red-headed woodpecker was common in Central Indiana as late as the 1970s, but their population has declined by 70% in the last 50 years! So, now, it is uncommon and local to regional pockets in the state. In contrast, the medium-sized northern flicker, also a bird of central Indiana, is relatively more common. 


Q. Are woodpeckers protected in Indiana?

Ans. Yes, woodpeckers enjoy federal protection in Indiana, and removing them from their nesting sites is illegal. So, if you hear their drumming at close quarters and fear damage to your home, you can immediately adopt control measures that do not harm the birds.

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