Woodpeckers in Tennessee

There are some regional and seasonal variations in the woodpecker distribution in Tennessee. The pileated woodpecker and northern flicker are more common in eastern Tennessee. On the other hand, the red-headed woodpecker is more common in the western part of the state, mostly in the winter. The migratory yellow-bellied sapsucker spends the winter here, staying from late September to May. It leaves TN for its northern breeding grounds to spend the summer.

Woodpeckers in Tennessee (TN)

Different Types of Woodpeckers Found in Tennessee

NameIdentifying FeaturesWhere They Are Found in Tennessee
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 WoodpeckerThere is a red 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
Red-headed WoodpeckerEntirely red head and neckSparse populations in open woodlands and along rivers
Red-cockaded WoodpeckerBlack cap and nape, white cheeks, barred back and wingsPine forests, particularly in the Cumberland Plateau region

All the above, except the last one, have quite stable populations in the state and can be seen in backyard feeders. The red-cockaded, an endangered species, is extirpated from Tennessee. It was last sighted in Cherokee National Forest in 1994.

Subscribe our newsletter

Enter your email here to stay updated with the animal kingdom