11 Species of Woodpeckers in New York: Most Common Species

Northern America is home to many amazing bird species, with woodpeckers in New York being one of the most charming. Due to their widespread presence, woodpeckers are a fascinating group of birds that almost nobody in the world is unfamiliar with. Still, there isn’t much talk about particular species. Here, you will know about 11 Species of Woodpeckers in New York from this article.

New York is home to eleven different species of woodpeckers. Every species of woodpecker has a distinct prey base, hunting style, and preferred habitat. Given its extensive woodlands and forests, New York is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including numerous birds. 

11 Species of Woodpeckers in New York

In many cases, an average person could not even tell the difference between the many species of woodpeckers found in New York. The species of woodpeckers found in New York State are listed below for simplicity’s sake:

1. Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

All year long North America’s tiniest woodpecker species, the downy, is also the smallest species found in New York. The Downy woodpecker is more common at feeders than the Hairy woodpecker, despite your perceptions to the contrary. 

Read more: The 9 Species of Hawks in Virginia

  • Length: 14cm to 17cm
  • Wingspan: 25cm to 30cm
  • Weight: 21g to 28g
  • Seen : All year

2. Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

The Northern Flicker breeds in the northern portion of the state before migrating south and is found in the southern regions of New York State. This implies that you can see them all year round, albeit in different regions of the state. 

  • Length: 28cm to 31cm
  • Wingspan: 50cm to 55cm
  • Weight: 120g
  • Seen: All year round

3. Red-headed Woodpecker

Red-headed Woodpecker

In New York State, red-headed woodpeckers can be seen all year round, but summertime is the best time to see them hanging out in the forests. This species, with its vivid red head, simple black and white markings, white undersides, and black bands on its wings, lives up to its name. 

  • Red-headed Woodpecker
  • Length: 19.4cm to 23.5cm
  • Wingspan: 33cm to 37cm
  • Weight: 56g to 91g
  • Seen: All year

4. Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated Woodpecker, the largest woodpecker in New York, is a year-round resident that is most frequently seen in the summertime in the state’s southern forests and hills. It is an amazing bird of prey, with a fiery red triangular head crest, black and white stripes on their underside, and a red stripe on the males’ cheeks.

Read more: The 8 Types of Woodpeckers in Maryland

  • Length: 40cm to 49cm
  • Wingspan: 66cm to 75cm
  • Weight: 250g to 350g
  • Seen: All year

5. Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

The state’s extreme east and west are home to the majority of Red-bellied Woodpecker sightings, though they occur all year round. Due to their red caps, this species is frequently confused for its Red-headed cousin, even though they are considerably smaller. 

  • Length: 23cm to 27cm
  • Wingspan: 33cm to 42cm
  • Weight: 56g to 91g
  • Seen: All year

6. Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Mostly found in wooded areas, the Hairy Woodpecker is a year-round bird in New York. Larger than the Downy Woodpecker, the Hairy Woodpecker has a black-and-white pattern all over their body and a large patch on their back. It can be challenging to distinguish between the two birds because they share the same habitat.

  • Length: 25cm to 33cm
  • Wingspan: 38cm
  • Weight: 43g to 99g
  • Seen: All year

7. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker is a year-round observer that breeds in New York State. This species of woodpecker is about the size of a robin and has a mostly black body with a red throat and forehead. These woodpeckers chip away at tree trunks, then extend their tongues to drink the sap.

  • Length: 18cm to 23cm
  • Wingspan: 34cm to 40cm
  • Weight: 50g
  • Seen: All year

8. Black-backed Woodpecker

Black-backed Woodpecker

They live all year round in New York State, though they are rarely seen. Black backed can be challenging to locate because they are small birds with a black backs. They have a mostly white belly and black and white stripes on their undercarriage. Male adults wear a yellow cap.

  • Length: 23cm
  • Wingspan: 40cm to 42cm
  • Weight: 61g to 88g
  • Seen: All year

9. American Three-toed Woodpecker

American Three-toed Woodpecker

The American Three-toed Woodpecker, which is uncommon to see, is characterized by a yellow cap on adult males, a black stripe near their beak, a blackhead, black and white flanks, a black rump and wings, and a white belly and throat. It is typically found in coniferous forests with dying trees near water throughout the year.

  • Length: 21cm to 23cm
  • Wingspan: 37cm to 39cm
  • Weight: 45g to 68g
  • Seen: All year

10. Williamson’s Sapsucker

Williamson's Sapsucker

Williamson’s Sapsucker is uncommon in New York, but it can occasionally be seen in coniferous forests. This species was initially mistaken for two different species due to the differences in appearance between the males and females. Williamson’s Sapsucker burrows tiny holes in tree bark in order to feed on the sap that seeps out from within.

  • Length: 21cm to 25cm
  • Wingspan: 34cm to 40cm
  • Weight: 44g to 55g
  • Seen: All year

11. Lewis’s Woodpecker

Lewis's Woodpecker

In New York, Lewis’s Woodpeckers can be seen year-round, despite their rarity. This woodpecker, whose red face can appear dark in certain lighting conditions, flies like a crow but forages for food like a flycatcher. This species has an elongated body, long tail, and long wings. 

  • Length: 26cm to 28cm
  • Wingspan: 49cm to 52cm
  • Weight: 88g to 139g
  • Seen: Rare, but all year


The state of New York’s diverse topography directly contributes to the existence of various bird species, including woodpeckers. There are up to eleven different species of woodpeckers in New York. The sapsuckers, like Williamson’s and Yellow-bellied sapsuckers, are among these species.

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