Popular North American Wild Birds – Woodpecker



Downy Woodpecker – Picoides pubescens

Hairy Woodpecker – Picoides villosus

Red-bellied Woodpecker – Melanerpes carolinus


Woodpeckers inhabit woodlands, farmland, and suburbs.

Feeding Habits in the Wild

Woodpeckers excavate trees for a variety of insects, especially the larvae of wood-boring insects. They will also take sap from sapsucker holes and nut meats from shells that have been opened.

Preferred Feeder Types

Suet Feeders, Wire Screen Feeders with Nuts and Seeds, and Hanging Feeders with Seeds

Species Facts

In the warm months the majority of a Woodpecker’s diet consists of insects. Woodpeckers greatly benefit from backyard feeders, especially during the winter months. Woodpeckers will eat exposed fat in decomposing animal carcasses. Woodpeckers drill into soft wood to spear caterpillars and wood-boring insect larvae.

Preferred Food at the Feeder

Mealworms, Suet, Sunflower Hearts and Chips, Oil Sunflower, Roasted Peanut Chips, Cracked or Chopped Nuts, Coconut, Cracked Corn, Stripe Sunflower, Milo, Oats Groats, Rape Seed (Canola), and Dried Fruit.

Brown’s Recommended Foods