Woodpeckers in Pennsylvania

Being wetland-filled and woodsy, Pennsylvania is a woodpecker paradise. No wonder as many as nine species of these hammering birds call it their home. The largest in the state is the pileated, with a length of 17.5 inches. If you are a resident of western Pennsylvania, you cannot miss seeing the bird on older black cherry trees. On the other hand, the smallest woodpecker native to the state is the downy, measuring just 6.1 inches. It is also the most common resident.

Woodpeckers in Pennsylvania (PA)

Different Types of Woodpeckers Found in Pennsylvania

NameIdentifying FeaturesWhere They Are Found in Pennsylvania
Downy WoodpeckerSmall size, black and white plumage, red spot on the back of the headThroughout the state
Hairy WoodpeckerLarger than Downy, similar plumageWooded areas, forests, and suburban neighborhoods
Northern FlickerBrown plumage with black spots, white rumpOpen areas, woodlands, and urban parks
Pileated WoodpeckerLarge size, striking red crest, black and white plumageForested areas and wooded parks throughout the state
Red-bellied WoodpeckerRed patch on the back of the head, black and white barred plumageWoodlands, forests, and suburban areas
Yellow-bellied SapsuckerYellow belly and white stripes on wingsForested areas, orchards, and wooded suburban neighborhoods
Black-backed WoodpeckerBlack back with white spots, white undersideDense coniferous forests in the northern parts of the state
Red-headed WoodpeckerEntirely red head and neckSparse populations in open woodlands and along rivers
Lewis’s WoodpeckerDark greenish-black plumage, pink bellyOpen woodlands, burned areas, and river valleys

All the woodpeckers listed above are regular residents, except the Lewis’s and black-backed woodpeckers, which are accidental species. The yellow-bellied sapsucker is a migratory species seen only in early spring and fall. They travel north in the summer for breeding and fly down south for the winter. The Keystone State acts as their pitstop.

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