Woodpeckers in Maryland

Maryland’s dense forests and abundant greenery have turned it into a state where woodpeckers thrive. The diverse species of these rhythmically drumming birds living here boast unique adaptations and immense ecological significance. 

There are seven species of woodpeckers that you can typically see in Maryland. They range in size from the large pileated woodpecker to the small downy woodpecker. At 17.5 inches, the pileated is almost the size of a crow, while the downy is similar in size to the house sparrow at 6.1 inches.

Woodpeckers in Maryland (MD)

Different Types of Woodpeckers Found in Maryland

NameIdentifying FeaturesWhere They Are Found in Maryland
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 largerCommon in wooded areas
Northern FlickerBrownish body with black markingsOpen areas, fields, and yards
Pileated WoodpeckerLarge, striking red crest and black bodyForested regions and woodlands
Yellow-bellied SapsuckerYellow belly and red throatWooded areas with sap-rich trees
Red-headed WoodpeckerBright red head and black wingsWoodlands, open areas, and suburbs
Red-cockaded WoodpeckerSmall with a black cap and white cheek patchesRare, found in the southern pine forests

Due to habitat loss, the red-cockaded woodpecker is listed as a threatened species in Maryland. These birds need large forest tracts with mature trees for survival. Unfortunately, the forests have suffered fragmentation and undergone developmental work, leading to the birds losing their homes. The last accepted sight record in Maryland was of a pair photographed at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, way back in May 1974.

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