Related. This reclusive bird lives in mature forests and is uncommon to fairly common, found statewide, except the Bluegrass Region, where it is considered rare. In instances where size comparisons might not be available, experts suggest examining the bill size in relation to the head size. Bookmark the permalink. West Indian Woodpecker . 2nd most common woodpecker in KY. Red-Headed Woodpecker. The red crested head and white stripes across the face makes it difficult to mistake the Pileated Woodpecker for any other species. They have stiff tail feathers that prop them up when they climb. Most common woodpecker in KY. Bluejay. Downy Woodpecker. The wing length averages 237 to 264 mm (Short 1982). Most of the population lives in mountain forests. Drill holes in live trees. An insectivore, it inhabits deciduous forests in eastern North America, the Great Lakes, the boreal forests of Canada, and parts of the Pacific Coast.It is the largest common woodpecker in the U.S., possibly second to the critically endangered or extinct ivory-billed. Hairy woodpeckers are also present in Kentucky, however they are not very abundant. The presence of red feathers on the back of the neck differentiates the Red-naped Sapsucker from the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. They are tree clingers — adapted to climbing and feeding on trees. RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER Will return to the same tree year after year 5. Unfortunately the traditional eighth of the Kentucky woodpeckers, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker disappeared from the state over fifteen years ago. NORTHERN FLICKER The only woodpecker to regularly feed on the ground 7. Most common Woodpecker in KY. … Their plumage is black and white (barred) on their backs and wings, with a pale breast. Acorns and other nuts are a favorite food. In the fall, the Downy Woodpecker is often found in the company of nuthatches, creepers and chickadees. Called the "bully" of the songbirds. In pre-settlement, the Red-Headed Woodpecker was likely present in great numbers in the native prairies and savannas of Central Kentucky. Their preferred food is boring beetles, grasshoppers, ants and other insects, but they also consume nuts and wild fruits. Share your woodpecker pictures and stories with the community. • The Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) is Kentucky’s largest woodpecker.. A year-round resident, the Red-Bellied Woodpecker, readily comes to feeders in the winter. It would have been nice if the article was about that, though I did rather enjoy the article. • The Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens), the smallest woodpecker in the eastern U.S., is sparrow-sized, and the most numerous and widespread woodpecker in Kentucky. Woodpeckers are found throughout Kentucky, and are most abundant wherever semi-open forests or big trees are present. They enjoy open areas with grasses and woodlands, especially oak dominated areas because the consume acorns. • The Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) is a 12-inch woodpecker found in uniform abundance across the state. It’s the only species in the Dryocopus genus in the United Sates and probably the largest woodpecker in Kentucky. In winter, several species of woodpeckers often frequent backyard bird feeders, where they can be observed up close and photographed. They use their nesting cavities to store food, and escape the brunt of cold weather, in addition to raising young. It’s always a treat for a birder to see one in the larger cities such as Louisville. The wings and tail are bluish-black, the breast is white, and there are white patches on their wings. Jackson (1996) identified the only recorded weight as 453g. The 17-inch, crow-sized bird has distinctive plumage too, and a loud, unmistakable vocalization cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk-cuk, that rises and falls in pitch. In those times, they can be a bit vocal. The pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) is a large, mostly black woodpecker native to North America. They are described as both shy and adapted to human environments. Excavating deep into rotten wood to get at the nests of carpenter ants, the Pileated leaves characteristic rectangular holes in dead trees. Woodpeckers are particularly fond of suet, a mixture of fat, seed and fruits. Females only have a red crown. woodpecker being the largest. (“Woodpecker reproduction, and ultimately their abundance, has been severely impacted by the non-native European Starling, a noxious bird that competes for nest sites, often taking over holes in trees made by woodpeckers.”). Their large, rectangular entry to the nesting cavity, is distinctive. This 10-inch, jay-sized bird is strikingly colored, with a red head. If it is not extinct, it is the world's largest woodpecker species, at 56–60 cm (22–23.5 in) long. Most species seem to prefer semi-open terrain, rather than closed-canopy forests. It’s physical appearance translates into easy identification. As imagined, woodpeckers have thick, bony skulls to withstand the pounding of their chisel-like bills on tree bark and rotting wood. One brood is raised a year and nest trees stand alone or are in a cluster of trees, Pileated Woodpecker (Photo by Robert Mislan). In winter, transients from more northern breeding areas, pass through Kentucky and may overwinter here, boosting local populations. The back and top of the male’s head is red. With a life that often exceeds the five year mark, homeowners might expect a long term relationship with any flickers they might attract to the back yard feeder. A big, dashing bird with a flaming crest, the largest woodpecker in North America (except the Ivory-bill, which is almost certainly extinct).