Different Types of Woodpeckers With Pictures You’ll Want to Save

Astonishing Facts about the Drummers!
➨ Woodpeckers are known for their drumming. They drum almost 8,000 – 12,000 times a day. This means that a woodpecker drums almost 20 times in a second.
➨ They have a small brain and a thick skull which protects them from the constant drumming. Also, they have adaptations to prevent the wood pieces from going into their eyes or nostrils.
Woodpeckers are a part of the Picidae family, which is a group of near-passerine birds. They are found all around the globe, except in New Guinea, Madagascar, New Zealand, Australia, and the polar regions. The habitats vary, from forests to deserts and rocky areas. All the species are characterized by strong bills which are used for drilling and drumming on trees. They also have a long tongue, up to 4 inches in length. The long tongues help them in extracting insects from the wood. Their diet varies as per the species, from insects and grubs, fruits and nuts, to sap from trees. The nesting is typically done in tree cavities or holes in cactus. All woodpeckers except the piculets and wrynecks have stiffened tails which help them balance while climbing or feeding.
There are over 180 species distributed in different genera. The family also includes the sapsuckers, piculets, and wrynecks. Piculets are one of the smallest woodpeckers, but lack a strong bill and the stiff tail. The same goes with the two species of wrynecks. The wrynecks have only 2 species and are included in the subfamily named Jyngiane and the genus Jynx. The piculets belong to the subfamily Picumninae and are divided in different genera, viz, Picumnus, Verreauxia, Sasia, and Nesoctites. The woodpeckers belong to the subfamily Picinae. They are further divided into different tribes. Have a look at the different species of woodpeckers given below.

Tribe: Dendropicini

Genus: Melanerpes
The genus name Melanerpes has its origin in Latin and means “black creeper”. The members of this genus are all found in the New World.
  • White woodpecker, Melanerpes candidus
  • Lewis’s woodpecker, Melanerpes lewis
  • Guadeloupe woodpecker, Melanerpes herminieri
  • Puerto Rican woodpecker, Melanerpes portoricensis
  • Red-headed woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus
  • Acorn woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  • Yellow-tufted woodpecker, Melanerpes cruentatus
  • Yellow-fronted woodpecker, Melanerpes flavifrons
  • Golden-naped woodpecker, Melanerpes chrysauchen
  • Beautiful woodpecker, Melanerpes pulcher
  • Black-cheeked woodpecker, Melanerpes pucherani
  • White-fronted woodpecker, Melanerpes cactorum
  • Hispaniolan woodpecker, Melanerpes striatus
  • Jamaican woodpecker, Melanerpes radiolatus
  • Golden-cheeked woodpecker, Melanerpes chrysogenys
  • Grey-breasted woodpecker, Melanerpes hypopolius
  • Yucatan woodpecker, Melanerpes pygmaeus
  • Red-crowned woodpecker, Melanerpes rubricapillus
  • Gila woodpecker, Melanerpes uropygialis
  • Hoffmann’s woodpecker, Melanerpes hoffmannii
  • Golden-fronted woodpecker, Melanerpes aurifrons
  • Velasquez’s woodpecker, Melanerpes santacruzi
  • Red-bellied woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus
  • West Indian woodpecker, Melanerpes superciliaris
  • Grand Bahama West Indian woodpecker, Melanerpes superciliaris bahamensis (extinct: 1950s)
White woodpecker
White woodpecker
Red-headed woodpecker
Red-headed woodpecker
Acorn woodpecker
Acorn woodpecker
Hispaniolan woodpecker
Hispaniolan woodpecker
Red-crowned woodpecker
Red-crowned woodpecker
Gila woodpecker
Gila woodpecker
Golden-fronted woodpecker
Golden-fronted woodpecker
Red-bellied woodpecker
Red-bellied woodpecker
West Indian woodpecker
West Indian woodpecker
Genus: Sphyrapicus – Sapsuckers
The name “Sphyrapicus” is a combination of Greek words sphura meaning ‘hammer’ and pikos meaning ‘woodpecker’. All birds have slender bodies, stiff tails, and long wings. The birds feed on the sap of trees and the insects are fed to the young ones. They have a typical flight of alternating quick wing beats and short dips. These 4 birds are found in North America.
Red-naped sapsucker, S. nuchalis
Red-naped sapsucker, S. nuchalis
Red-breasted sapsucker, S. ruber
Red-breasted sapsucker, S. ruber
Williamson’s sapsucker, S. thyroideus
Williamson's sapsucker, S. thyroideus
Yellow-bellied sapsucker, S. varius
Yellow-bellied sapsucker, S. varius

Genus: Xiphidiopicus

Cuban Green Woodpecker, Xiphidiopicus percussus
The Cuban green woodpecker is the only species of this genus and only found in Cuba. It has the size and shape of a sapsucker. It has a bright olive-green body with yellow underparts. The males have a red crown and the females have a black crown with white stripes. This species prefers dry or lowland moist forests.
Genus: Dendropicos
  • Little grey woodpecker, Dendropicos elachus
  • Speckle-breasted woodpecker, Dendropicos poecilolaemus
  • Abyssinian woodpecker, Dendropicos abyssinicus
  • Cardinal woodpecker, Dendropicos fuscescens
  • Gabon woodpecker, Dendropicos gabonensis
  • Stierling’s woodpecker, Dendropicos stierlingi
  • Melancholy woodpecker, Dendropicos lugubris
  • Bearded woodpecker, Dendropicos namaquus
  • Fire-bellied woodpecker, Dendropicos pyrrhogaster
  • Yellow-crested woodpecker, Dendropicos xantholophus
  • Arabian woodpecker, Dendropicos dorae
  • Brown-backed woodpecker, Dendropicos obsoletus
Cardinal woodpecker
Cardinal woodpecker
Bearded woodpecker
Bearded woodpecker