8 Different Types of Woodpeckers in Arkansas

Types of Woodpeckers in Arkansas
By depositphotos.com

Arkansas is known for its musical traditions, the mineral quartz, cooked Catfish, and 400 bird species.

Though 40 of those species are now gone, there are still many beautiful woodpeckers in Arkansas.

Woodpeckers are fairly common in Arkansas since they live near residential areas. There are types of woodpeckers in Arkansas, which we will discuss in this post.

1. Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

Ivory-Billed Woodpecker
by James St. John is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This is the world’s third-largest woodpecker. The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker was assumed to be extinct until it was spotted again in 2004 due to habitat degradation in the nineteenth century.

Since then, much research has been conducted to relocate the bird.

The feathers of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker are black-purple with white lines running from the cheeks.

In males, the crest is black in the front and red in the back, whilst females have a pure black crest.

This bird has a flattened bill that resembles a wood chisel compared to other woodpeckers in Arkansas.

The bills are sufficient to remove whole bark to feed the larvae.

2. Yellow-Shafted Northern Woodpecker

Yellow-Shafted Northern Woodpecker
by warriorwoman531 is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The Yellow-Shafted Northern Flicker has a medium-sized body compared to other woodpeckers in Arkansas.

The color relates to the underside feathers of the wings and tail, which might be red in other forms. 

The body is brownish- with black markings on the exterior and belly spots. With other woodpeckers, this one digs beneath the ground to find insects.

It can also graze on horizontal branches in search of moths, snails, nuts, grains, and pollen.

The bird enjoys sticking its hooked tongues into ant colonies in search of larvae. Like other varieties of woodpeckers, it may climb branches and look for larvae.

3. Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
by Tobyotter is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Downy Woodpecker is one of the woodpeckers in Arkansas that is active and tiny.

It has a black body with a brilliant white back, abdomen, and throat and little white patches on the wings.

Bird watchers frequently struggle to distinguish the Downy Woodpecker from its larger counterpart, the Hairy Woodpecker.

Adult males have a red patch on the back of their heads. This bird, found in backyards, orchards, woodlots, and parks, makes its presence known in the warmer months by drumming on trees and calling out to other birds.

It eats insect larvae, ants, caterpillars, and various crop pests. When food is scarce, it will eat acorns, cereal grains, and berries from the forest.

4. Red-Headed Woodpecker

Red-Headed Woodpecker
by FRITSCHI PHOTOGRAPHY is licensed under CC BY 2.0

A spike-like bill, and a black back with a white bottom, distinguishes this bird.

The Red-Headed Woodpecker, a type of woodpecker in Arkansas, is easily identified by its brilliant red head, though juvenile birds have gray heads.

The bird prefers to eat larval beetles and live bugs such as grasshoppers. It also eats berries, seeds, acorns, flying bugs, lesser birds, and rodents.

It likes to store foodstuff in tree cracks or under roof shingles. In the cold months, the bird will keep grasshoppers, corn, cereal grains, and cherries, frequently relocating them from one location to another.

The Red-Headed Woodpecker population has fallen dramatically due to habitat degradation and a lack of food. If you own a suet bird, it may visit you.

5. Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker
by tsaiproject is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Pileated Woodpecker, which is nearly the size of a crow, is one of Arkansas’s largest and most stunning birds.

It features a black and white striped back with a prominent bright red crest.

These woodpeckers in Arkansas can be seen drumming on fallen trees for their favorite prey, timber ants, and wood-boring insect larvae.

The Pileated Woodpecker protects trees by eating insects that could potentially damage them in the long run.

Unlike other types of woodpeckers in Arkansas, the Pileated Woodpecker is very adaptable and has survived human settlement of its native ecosystem in North America.

Woody Woodpecker, the popular cartoon character, is a Pileated Woodpecker.

6. Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Red-Bellied Woodpecker
by Kim Taylor Hull is licensed under CC BY 2.0

This bird extends the jagged tip of its tongue out and catches larvae hiding in the crevices of dead trees with its sticky spit.

The Red-Bellied Woodpecker will usually store nuts in bark crevices. Other forms of food will also be stored for later use.

The Red-Bellied Woodpecker regularly takes over other birds’ nests, including the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker. Typically, the bird flies fast and abruptly reverses direction.

This bird’s powerful call will alert you to its existence, and it will be drawn to the dead trees in your backyard. In the winter, you may maintain a bird feeder filled with peanuts or seeds from sunflowers to feed the birds.

7. Yellow-Bellied Woodpecker

Yellow-Bellied Woodpecker
by gurdonark is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Yellow-Bellied Male Sapsuckers often have a red or yellow forehead, with females having a lighter shade of red.

The throat is the main distinguishing feature that distinguishes males and females. Females have a white throat, while males have a vivid red throat. 

Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers eat the sweet sap of trees as well as any bugs that are found in them.

The perfectly ordered sap wells dug in the trunk by the bird on top of or adjacent to each other are a dead giveaway that the bird is nearby.

It favors digging wells in apple and birch trees. In the spring, you can locate these woodpeckers in Arkansas by hearing their extended mewing calls.

8. Red-Cockaded Woodpecker

This woodpecker, one of the woodpeckers in Arkansas, is a small to medium-sized bird.

It is currently designated as Near Threatened due to habitat loss and widespread tree-cutting for construction projects.

It is distinguished by the black and white stripes on its back and the black cap and neck that encircle huge white cheeks.

During the mating season, the male has a distinct red stripe on each side of his black crown; nevertheless, this red stripe might be difficult to recognize.

The Red-Cockaded Woodpecker feeds on larvae and mature insects and arthropods discovered under and on the bark of trees.

It prefers centipedes, termites, wood insects, and bark mites as food.


Arkansas has many fun things to do, and one is unquestionably birding. Arkansas has several interesting birds, with woodpeckers being one of the most well-known.

Although some types of woodpeckers in Arkansas have been extinct or are exceedingly difficult to locate, many are still found in national parks, wildlife refuges, and even your own garden if you keep a feeder.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like