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Lewis's Woodpecker

Melanerpes lewis ORDER: PICIFORMES FAMILY: PICIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A dark woodpecker of open woodlands, the Lewis's Woodpecker is found westward of the Great Plains. Its slow, deliberate flight reminds one of a crow or jay more than a woodpecker.

At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
10.2–11 in
26–28 cm
Wingspan
19.3–20.5 in
49–52 cm
Weight
3.1–4.9 oz
88–138 g
Other Names
  • Pic de Lewis (French)
  • Carpintero de Lewis (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Lewis's Woodpecker seldom, if ever, excavates wood for boring insects. Instead, it gleans insects from the tree surface, or most commonly, flycatches. It spends long periods of time watching for flying insects from the top of a pole or dead tree, and then flies out to catch them in flight.

Habitat


Open Woodland

Food


Insects

Nesting

Nest Placement

Cavity

Behavior


Aerial Forager

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Populations declining. This species is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists species most in danger of extinction without significant conservation action. It is also on the Audubon WatchList.

Credits

  • Tobalske, B. W. 1997. Lewis' Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis). In The Birds of North America, No. 284 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, and The American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C.

Range Map Help

Lewis
View dynamic map of eBird sightings

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Meriwether Lewis Would be Proud: Helping Lewis's namesake woodpecker in Oregon. Story and photos in Living Bird Magazine.

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