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Ivory-billed Woodpecker


IUCN Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

Ivory-billed Woodpecker Photo

The largest of the woodpeckers north of Mexico and the third largest in the world, the Ivory-billed Woodpecker was a bird of old-growth forests of the Southeast. Destruction of its forest habitat caused severe population declines in the 1800s, and only a handful of birds remained into the 20th century. It was thought to have gone extinct in the middle of the twentieth century. The bird was rediscovered in the "Big Woods" region of eastern Arkansas in 2005, but has proven difficult to relocate since then. For a full account of this story, including conservation efforts, go here.

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Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Large woodpecker.
  • Red or red-and-black crest on head.
  • Black body.
  • Large white patches in wings.

Immature Description

Juvenile similar to adult, but has shorter crest, browner plumage, and brown eyes.

Range Map Help

Ivory-billed Woodpecker Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

  • Adult male

    Ivory-billed Woodpecker

    Adult male
    • Colorized historical photograph
    • © Arthur A. Allen / CLO

Similar Species

  • Pileated Woodpecker is very similar, but has a smaller, dark or silvery bill (sometimes appearing white), a white neck line extending across the face to the top of the bill, a white throat, a white line above the eye, and red on top of the crest. A perched pileated lacks the large white back and shows only small white spots on the wings. In flight, the trailing edge of the wing is black in Pileated Woodpecker and white in Ivory-billed Woodpecker.