Living Bird Magazine
Arizona WoodpeckerDryobates arizonae
- ORDER: Piciformes
- FAMILY: Picidae
With its wood-brown back and spotted underparts, the Arizona Woodpecker bucks the black-and-white color trend of most North American woodpeckers. This species of Mexico’s Sierra Madre barely reaches into southern Arizona and New Mexico, where it frequents pine-oak forests at middle elevations. These small woodpeckers forage by flying to the base of a tree and then spiraling up the trunk. While it’s fairly common in the proper habitat, this species is on the Yellow Watch List because of its restricted range.More ID Info
Find This Bird
Look for Arizona Woodpeckers between about 5,000 and 5,600 feet in mountainous pine-oak forests. They’re easiest to find between late March and May, when breeding males and females are vocal. Outside the breeding season this species often joins mixed-species flocks, so check groups of chickadees, titmice, nuthatches, and warblers to see if one or two Arizona Woodpeckers are traveling with them.
- Pico de Arizona (Spanish)
- Pic d'Arizona (French)
- Cool Facts
- One bold Arizona Woodpecker landed on the leg of a horse and hammered on it as if it were a tree. It came back for another rap after the horse moved off, and caused the horse to plunge and kick to keep it away.
- The Arizona Woodpecker was previously considered the same species as the Strickland's Woodpecker of southern Mexico, but now they are regarded as separate, closely related species.