White-headed Woodpecker Life History


Habitat ForestsMontane coniferous forests dominated by pines.Back to top


Food InsectsInsects and conifer seeds.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Cavity

Nest Description

Nest in cavity in tree, usually a dead tree.

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:2-9 eggs
Egg Description:White.
Condition at Hatching:Naked and helpless.
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Behavior Bark ForagerPecks and flakes bark, probes in cracks. Rarely hammers deep into wood. Clings to unopened pine cones and chips open the scales to get at the seeds. Sometimes flycatches.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernWhite-headed Woodpecker populations appear stable and may have experienced a small increase between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 150,000, with 100% living in the U.S. This U.S.-Canada Stewardship species rates a 12 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Although numbers of this woodpecker seem stable, conservation status is considered sensitive in several states. Back to top


Garrett, Kimball L., Martin G. Raphael and Rita D. Dixon. (1996). White-headed Woodpecker (Picoides albolarvatus), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J. and W. A. Link. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2013 (Version 1.30.15). USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center (2014b). Available from

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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