Focus On Taylor County Forum

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 help ID this woodpecker please
Author: Pat (
Date:   10-27-02 08:32

I have never seen this woodpecker before, looks like a red-headed woodpecker only maybe a little smaller. It has the white underbody, white tips on the wings, but the head is brown not red with a red spot on the brest where the brown meets the white. Any ideas of an ID for this bird.


 Re: help ID this woodpecker please
Author: Greg (
Date:   10-27-02 08:58

Maybe a little more information would be helpful. Where are you located? How long ago did you see it? When you saw the bird, where (kind of habitat) was it and what was it doing?

 Re: help ID this woodpecker please
Author: Pat (
Date:   10-27-02 09:04

I live in St. Croix County, West Centeral WI. I have feeders in my backyard with a few trees. It climbs up and down the trunk upright, not upside down like a Nuthatch. It seems to like eating from the ground but I have seen it at the feeder also. It's pretty brave, and even tries to chase the Blue Jays away. Like I said, it looks just like a red-headed woodpecker only has a brown head. The mixture of seed is sunflower seeds, millet and corn with some safflower.

 Re: help ID this woodpecker please
Author: Greg (
Date:   10-27-02 09:35

By your description, it certainly sounds like it is a woodpecker species. My guess is that you probably are looking at an immature red-headed woodpecker. The immature resembles the adult, but has a brown head, and 2 dark bars on the white wing patch. There is an image of a very young red-headed (still a nestling) at However, by this time of the year, I'd expect that your bird would start looking more and more like an adult. I think that the red spot on its breast is a place where the immature bird is beginning to get its adult plumage and if I'm correct, I'd expect this red area and the rest of the brown head to gradually get its red feathers.

 Re: help ID this woodpecker please
Author: Pat (
Date:   10-27-02 09:40

well it's pretty hard to tell from that picture, but if the young has a brown head, this is probably what it is a bit smaller than the redheaded woodpeckers I've had before. It's only been here for about 2 weeks, quite regularly (couple of times a day).

thank you for your help.

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