A Red-headed Woodpecker in my backyard in northeast Iowa. USA
Image taken with my Canon PowerShot SX30 IS.

Red-headed Woodpecker
Melanerpes erythrocephalus ORDER: PICIFORMES FAMILY: PICIDAE

An unmistakable bird, the Red-headed Woodpecker is striking at rest and in flight, showing its colors of red, black, and white. It is one of the most aggressive members of the family and one of the most omnivorous.

Cool Facts
The Red-headed Woodpecker is one of only four woodpeckers known to store food, and it is the only one known to cover the stored food with wood or bark. It hides insects and seeds in cracks in wood, under bark, in fence posts, and under roof shingles. Grasshoppers are regularly stored alive, but wedged into crevices so tightly that they cannot escape.
In addition to attacking other birds to keep them out of its territory, the Red-headed Woodpecker is also known to remove the eggs of other species from nests and nest boxes, destroy nests, and even to enter duck-nesting boxes and puncture the duck eggs.
The Red-headed Woodpecker benefited from the chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease. The devastating tree diseases killed many trees and provided nest sites for the woodpeckers.

Open Woodland
Breeds in deciduous woodlands, especially beech or oak, river bottoms, open woods, groves of dead and dying trees, orchards, parks, open country with scattered trees, forest edges, and open wooded swamps with dead trees and stumps. Attracted to burns and recent clearings.
Winters in mature stands of forest, especially those with oaks.

Most omnivorous woodpecker. Beech and oak mast, seeds, nuts, berries, fruit, insects, bird eggs, nestlings, mice.

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Hello! I am a wife, mother, worship leader and piano teacher. Photography is a new passion of mine. I also enjoy singing, playing the piano & flute, bicycling and the theatre! Thank you for all your kindness and support here. God bless you!

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  • Wendy Mogul
    Wendy Mogulover 2 years ago


  • Thank you so much!!! :-)

    – lorilee

  • Ruth Lambert
    Ruth Lambertover 2 years ago

    Oh WOW Lorilee…..this is a fantastic shot!!! clear and bright and detailed!!

  • Thank you, Ruth!!! You’re very kind!! :-)

    – lorilee

  • Jeff Weymier
    Jeff Weymierover 2 years ago

    Great work Lori.

  • Thanks, Jeff!!! :-)

    – lorilee

  • swaby
    swabyover 2 years ago

    I have never seen one of these! Gorgeous bird and capture Lori! Wonder if they come up to MN!

  • Thank you so much, Tina!! They are found from Canada all the way down to Mexico . . . more found on the eastern side of the Mississippi, however!!

    – lorilee

  • Yvonne Emerson
    Yvonne Emersonover 2 years ago


  • Thank you very much!!! :-)

    – lorilee

  • labaker
    labakerover 2 years ago

    such a beautiful bird….

  • Thank you, Larry!! :-)

    – lorilee

  • Sheryl Gerhard
    Sheryl Gerhardover 2 years ago

    Amazing capture, Lori. These are so hard to even find around here. They stay way back in the woods and don’t visit feeders. Great sharp shot.

  • Thanks, Sheryl!!! I started seeing a couple of “Redheads” visiting my feeders and
    suet last summer . . . am happy to see they’ve come back!! :-)

    – lorilee

  • shelleybabe2
    shelleybabe2over 2 years ago

    Absolutely georgous! You lucky thing!

  • Thank you so much, Shelley!!

    – lorilee

  • Nadya Johnson
    Nadya Johnsonover 2 years ago

    Exquisite! What kind of camera did you use (and lens)? The colors and the details are magnificent!

  • Thank you, Nadya!!! I use a Canon PowerShot SX30 IS . . . just
    a simple “point-and shoot” but it serves me well for what I do!! :-)

    – lorilee

  • John44
    John44over 2 years ago

    Dear Lorilee
    What I DO NOT LIKE here is.. it is not my photo (^_^)

    Excellent vivid colours & contrast!
    FAV x

  • LOL . . . thank you so much, John!!! :-)

    – lorilee

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