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Black-backed Woodpecker


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

An uncommon woodpecker of the northern coniferous forests, the Black-backed Woodpecker prefers burned-over sites. It moves from place to place, following outbreaks of wood-boring beetles in recently burned habitats.

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Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized woodpecker.
  • Back entirely black.
  • Sides barred black-and-white.
  • Throat, chest, and belly white.
  • Face black with white and black mustache marks.
  • Male with yellow cap.

Immature Description

Juvenile similar to adult but duller, with dull black crown (yellow patch reduced or absent), and underparts washed buff.

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Black-backed Woodpecker Range Map
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Similar Species

  • American Three-toed Woodpecker similar, but with white barring on back and hind neck, white line behind eye, weaker barring on flanks, and more white in wings.
  • Hairy Woodpecker has much more white on head and neck, white down the middle of the back, more white in the wings, and no barring on flanks.