Woodpeckers in Vermont

You have to be very careful while identifying Vermont’s woodpeckers. The hairy and downy woodpeckers look very similar and are the most common. The black-backed and American-toed woodpeckers also resemble each other, barring some key differences. Of them, the last one is the hardiest of all, and no American woodpecker species breeds as far north as it does. But not all on the below list have look-alikes. The northern flicker is unique in its appearance and doesn’t even look like a woodpecker, so to speak. Its yellow-shafted variant is very common here.

Woodpeckers in Vermont (VT)

Different Types of Woodpeckers Found in Vermont

NameIdentifying FeaturesWhere They Are Found in Vermont
Downy WoodpeckerSmall size, white spots on black wings, white backCommon throughout forests and woodlands
Hairy WoodpeckerLarger than Downy, entirely black upperparts, white undersideFound in wooded areas and suburban parks
Northern FlickerMedium-sized, brown with black bars on the back, white rumpOften seen in open habitats and fields
Pileated WoodpeckerLarge, mostly black with white stripes on the face and neckInhabits mature forests, especially with large trees
Red-bellied WoodpeckerMedium-sized, red cap on head, black-and-white barred backCommon in woodlands and suburban areas
Yellow-bellied SapsuckerMedium-sized, black and white striped face, yellow bellyFrequents deciduous forests and orchards
Black-backed WoodpeckerMedium-sized, black back with white spots, black cap and faceFound in boreal and sub-boreal forests
Red-headed WoodpeckerMedium-sized, entirely red head and neck, black back and wingsOccasionally seen in open woodlands
American Three-toed WoodpeckerSmall, black and white, with three toesPrefers coniferous forests and mixed woodlands
Lewis’s WoodpeckerMedium-sized, dark greenish-black plumage, red face and bellyRarely observed, prefers open forests

Though the red-headed woodpecker has a wide range in the country, it is uncommon in Vermont. The Lake Champlain Valley Area, however, hosts a sizeable breeding population. Birders can rejoice at the fact that the population of red-bellied woodpeckers has continuously increased in VT for over a decade. Specifically, their population has increased by 1800%, according to the Second Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas (2003-2007), with the maximum increase recorded in the Champlain Valley.

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