Types of Woodpeckers in Kansas

Woodpeckers have acute hearing, allowing them to detect the chewing and movement of insects and larvae in wood. In Kansas, bird watchers have spotted eleven different kinds of woodpeckers. Eight of these species are commonly found on state checklists, while the remaining three are considered unusual or accidental.
The greatest approach to seeing woodpeckers in Kansas is to go birding in the woods and woodland. Some, though, are common sights at bird feeders in backyards, such the Red-bellied Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, and Northern Flicker.

Species of woodpeckers in Kansas are described and illustrated here. The red-bellied woodpecker is the state bird of Kansas and can be found there year-round. In Kansas, the Northern Flicker is more usual to see in the winter, while the Red-headed Woodpecker and numerous other species are more common to see in the summer.
In the spring, when they are courting, woodpeckers create characteristic drumming sounds. Drumming sounds are made by both male and female woodpeckers.
If you’re interested in learning more about woodpeckers, you should know that they are rather disgusting.

Also, know Where Do Owls Nest?

Kansas residents can download and print a free pictorial guide to identifying backyard birds.

Lewis’s Woodpecker

Although Lewis’s woodpecker can be seen at any time of the year, modern sightings in Kansas are extremely rare. Looking for this uncommon bird? Its bulky pink coloring and red face, which may appear dark depending on the lighting, are telltale signs of its existence.

Birds of this species perch on wires, bare branches, and posts so they can quickly catch flying insects using their large wings, elongated body, long tail, and long bill. Burned woods, ponderosa pine, orchards, farms with scattered trees, and woodlands are some of their most frequent habitats.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied woodpecker is a common sight in Kansas, and it is possible to see one at any time of the year. You’re more likely to see this species of woodpecker in the warmer months than any other. During the summer, they are spotted by birders 30% of the time, and on state checklists, they appear 24% of the time.

The red cap of the Red-bellied Woodpecker makes it easy to confuse it with the Red-headed Woodpecker, but the latter is far larger. Male Red-bellied Woodpeckers have a red hat and a red nape, while females have neither.

They have the traditional black and white patterns on their backs, but their bellies are a very faint red that might be difficult to notice.

The Eastern United States is home to the resident Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Red-bellied have bird feeders in your yard, you could get to see a woodpecker or two if you happen to live in a wooded region. You can usually hear them before you see them because of their loud, rolling call.

Red-bellied Insects, spiders, grass seeds, berries, and nuts are some of the foods enjoyed by woodpeckers. Nestlings are also a potential target. They often choose dead trees for their nests and may return year after year to the same one. Over a bed of wood chips, they lay their four to five white eggs.

Red-headed Woodpecker

Its red head is what first drew attention to the Red-headed woodpecker. About nine inches in length, this species is distinguished by its glossy blue-black wings, tail, and back in contrast to its scarlet head, neck, chin, throat, and upper breast. White feathers make up its upper tail and underside.

They can be seen at any time of the year in Kansas, but the summer is when you’re most likely to spot them in areas with trees, such as parks, backyards, orchards, and city parks with shade trees. They mostly eat nuts, fruit, berries, and seeds, but will also eat insects, spiders, and ants if they can find them by drilling into trees.

Downy Woodpecker

Woodpeckers, in general, come in a wide range of sizes, with the Downy Woodpecker being on the lesser end. They’re roughly the size of a sparrow to a robin. They also seem to have shorter beaks than the average woodpecker.

The Downy Woodpecker can be seen in Kansas’s open woodlands and forests throughout the year. They prefer deciduous trees but can also be seen in suburban parks and yards. During the spring and summer, you can often hear them pounding on trees and uttering their distinctive high-pitched sounds.

They frequently migrate south in mixed-species flocks throughout the winter. Together with other little birds, they can feel safer and have a higher chance of locating food because of this strategy.

Northern Flicker

For simplicity’s sake, many people just refer to this bird as a “flicker,” as the “northern” component of its name can be deceiving. The northernmost breeding grounds for flickers, like those of many other migratory birds, lie well beyond the Canadian border.

They are a year-round fixture in Kansas, frequenting bird feeders and backyards, lots, neighborhood parks, and even solitary trees if there are acorns and seeds to be found. As often as their tree-dwelling relatives, you’ll find them digging for insects.

The feathers of a flicker’s tiny wings are dark grey and black, and its body is orange with black spots like a cheetah’s. It also has a black ‘bib’ around its neck and a similar patch near its beak, a white face, a brown mask, and a silver crown, all of which are randomly dotted with bright red.

Hairy Woodpecker

Although Hairy Woodpeckers can be found in Kansas all year round, they are far less common there, appearing on only 6-8% of checklists. Hairy Woodpeckers are black and white woodpeckers that are about the size of a crow. Males exhibit a reddish iridescence at the top of their heads.

While both the Downy and Hairy Woodpeckers share similar appearances, the Hairy Woodpecker is bigger and has a longer bill. It’s not always easy to tell them apart, especially when they’re found in similar environments.

They are widespread throughout the United States, much of Canada, and even in Mexico. Birdwatchers may spot these ferocious little creatures, which can be identified by their whinnying cries or booming peak calls, at the feeder in their backyard.

Beetle larvae, ants, and bark beetles make up the bulk of a Hairy Woodpecker’s diet, although they will also consume caterpillars, spiders, moth pupae, millipedes, and a variety of other insects.

The female Woodpecker lays anywhere from three to six white eggs in a nest she excavates in the hollow of a dead tree or tree section.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

In Kansas, Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers spend the winter in a non-breeding population and then travel north to their breeding grounds each spring. Common habitats include recently established deciduous forests up to about 6,500 feet in elevation. They like to spend the colder months in the woods.

Their bills and foreheads are marked with bright crimson. Their undersides are white or yellowish, while the remainder of their black and white plumage stands out.

Excellent predictors of the presence of Yellow-bellied The rows of sap wells in trees are called sapsuckers. In order to get at the sap and any insects that may have leaked out with it, woodpeckers will drill these shallow, well-organized holes.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Dryobates scalaris, according to the scientific community. The Ladder-backed woodpecker’s habitat is the dry, desert regions of the southwestern United States. These tiny explorers hop from cactus to cactus in search of snacks, and they also use bird feeders stocked with mealworms and black oil sunflower seeds.

They’re mostly black and white, with white stripes that resemble a ladder over the wings and back. You can see the black and white spots on the chest. Only the males have a distinctive red crowns.

Some desert-dwelling woodpecker species require huge plants for nesting, but these small birds can get by just well amid the brush and bushes. Nutall’s woodpecker is a near relative of this species.

They spend each and every one of their 365 days a year tucked away in the southwestern corner of the state of Kansas.

Pileated Woodpecker

Although Pileated Woodpeckers are uncommon in the state of Kansas, they can be seen in the southeast part of the state throughout the year.

The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest species of woodpecker in North America, and it stands out thanks to its distinctive red triangular crest.

Being almost the size of a crow, this woodpecker is among the largest species. It flies around with a white stripe across its black body, and its white underside is visible when it takes to the air. One other distinguishing feature of males is a scarlet line that runs across each of their cheeks.

Depending on the species, the wingspan might range from 26 inches to 29 and a half inches (66-75 cm). Their year-round range includes the eastern United States, most of Canada, and the far western United States.

In addition to carpenter ants, beetle larvae, termites, and fruit and nuts like blackberries, sumac berries, dogwood, and elderberry, the Pileated Woodpecker’s diet consist primarily of carpenter ants found in dead trees and fallen logs. The sound they generate is a combination of deep, resonant drumming and a high, piercing whinnying.

While Pileated Woodpeckers use dead trees for nests, they typically build a new one every year, leaving the previous one open for use by other birds. The average clutch size is 3–5 white eggs.

Hints for enticing woodpeckers

Many of us enjoy luring woodpeckers to our bird feeders or backyards. They are just as prevalent as chickadees, titmice, or cardinals, and they always bring a welcome burst of energy to any setting. Nonetheless, they are more difficult to discover and entice. Read on for advice on how to entice woodpeckers to set up shop in your yard.

Provide a tasty treat — several species of woodpeckers are frequent visitors to bird feeders. You can attract birds with black sunflower seed and suet. If you want to attract larger woodpeckers, you should acquire a suet feeder with a tail prop area.

For the sake of woodpeckers and the insect larvae they eat, please leave dead trees alone.

Many species of woodpeckers will use nest boxes if they are provided. Nesting boxes have long been used by pileated woodpeckers during their traditional breeding season (May–July).

Incorporate fruit-bearing trees and shrubs into your landscape that are local to your area – Sometimes woodpeckers will eat things like dogwood, serviceberry, tupelo, mountain ash, strawberry, cherry, grapes, bayberry, holly, blueberries, apples, mulberries, brambles, and elderberries.

Woodpeckers, like other birds, need access to water, so provide a bird bath—ideally one with a water mover or solar fountain—to draw in the feathered visitors. If you want your solar fountain to keep running even when the sun is obscured by clouds, a battery-powered model is your best bet.

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