Arizona Woodpecker

Arizona Woodpecker Picture

An Arizona Woodpecker is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Arizona Woodpeckers. We have also put together a list of fun Arizona Woodpecker T-shirts, Arizona Woodpecker bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.

About Arizona Woodpeckers

The Arizona Woodpecker is a brown-backed bird that is native to the southern region of Arizona. It is an easy bird to miss as it silently searches for food in the oaks. The Arizona Woodpecker does not dig deep into dead wood for insects.

Description and Identification

These birds are often confused with Strickland’s Woodpeckers and grow to be 7–8 inches in length. They have brown and white plumages with brown on top and a dark rump with white underparts that are speckled with brown spots. They usually have wings that are barred with white, along with two white stripes that go across their faces to join with another white bar on their neck. Males and females are both of the same sizes, but males have an additional red patch on the nape of their heads along with longer bills. These small birds have wings that span 14.2 inches approximately.

Arizona Woodpecker Size

There is no distinguishable difference in size between both sexes. The Arizona Woodpecker has an average length of 18-22 centimeters with a wingspan of 36-40 centimeters. The bird weighs in at about 68 grams.

Arizona Woodpecker Color Pattern

The male bird has brown feathers overall. It has a blackish tail with a few barred white feathers on the outside. The underparts of the bird are whitish and have a few dark brown spots that give off a scaled pattern. The only distinguishing feature among both sexes is that the male has a dull brown crown and neck. The female bird lacks the colorful patch on the nape which is dull brown. Their offspring are duller than the adults.

Arizona Woodpecker Behavior

The Arizona Woodpecker is a territorial bird. While fending off intruders only the male observes and doesn’t take part. During the breeding season, the male performs courtship displays. These birds nest in a hole in an excavated tree that is about 13 meters above the ground. Both sexes are responsible for excavating the hole. The male bird usually dominates this activity. The female lays a maximum of four eggs that are incubated by both birds. The parents feed the juveniles until they are fully feathered.

Arizona Woodpecker Diet

Their main diet consists of beetle larvae, berries, acorns, and a variety of small insects. They find their prey by flaking or prying off bark to probe into it to find insects but may also excavate and hammer-like larger woodpeckers do. Males tend to be able to excavate more due to their longer bills but continue to forage by flaking off bark as well. Sometimes, they tap on infected trees to agitate movement in beetle larvae that the Woodpeckers can locate and feed on more efficiently. Their diets include weevils, long-horned beetles, and jewel beetles.

The Arizona Woodpecker is an insectivorous bird. It feeds on insects such as beetles and insect larvae. On occasions, the bird will also complement its diet with fruits, acorns, and seeds.

Arizona Woodpecker Habitat

Arizona Woodpeckers are regarded as a classic species of oak, pine-oak, and sycamore-walnut woodlands of the mountainous habitat of Mexico’s Sierra Madre Occidental. These isolated mountain ranges support cool and dry woodland environments where these birds forage in oaks and pines between 5,000–5,600 feet elevation. They can also be found foraging in pines, cypress, junipers, willows, and agave. Arizona Woodpeckers sometimes visit mesquite thickets and riparian areas in the lower parts of their elevational range as well. The tree species that they forage in include Arizona white oak, Chihuahua pine, ponderosa pine, Arizona white oak, net leaf oak, Emory oak, Silverleaf oak, Arizona sycamore, alligator juniper, Fremont cottonwood, and Arizona walnut. This bird species is often sighted in arid and pine-oak woodlands. The Arizona Woodpeckers have also been sighted in riparian wooded areas.

Range and Migration

Arizona Woodpeckers are year-round residents native to southern Arizona and New Mexico in the United States, and the Sierra Madre Occidental in western Mexico. Their northernmost range lies in south-eastern Arizona, extreme southwestern New Mexico, and northern Sonora by the desert mountain ranges. These birds are much quieter than their cousins and often forage far lower in the trees while avoiding digging deeply into dead wood for insects. Although the species does not migrate, they may move to lower elevations during winter.


Their nesting cavities are excavated within dead wood and can be as low as 2 feet or as high as 49 feet above the ground. Details about who the nesting sites are selected by are unknown, but the cavities are most likely made by the males. The nests themselves are unlined, with little work going in beyond the cavities as they provide sufficient protection and insulation from external factors. Each clutch size contains about 2–4 eggs in a brood.


Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes

At the Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.

Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Arizona Woodpeckers

The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Arizona Woodpeckers are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.

Arizona Woodpecker T-shirts

If you love the Arizona Woodpecker you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.

Arizona Woodpecker Stickers

Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Arizona Woodpecker. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.

Bird Feeders For Arizona Woodpeckers

There are many types of bird feeders. Bird feeders are a great addition to your backyard. Bird feeders will increase the chances of attracting birds drastically. Both kids and adults will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. There are a wide variety of bird feeders on the market and it is important to find the best fit for you and your backyard.

Best Bird Houses For Arizona Woodpeckers

There are many types of bird houses. Building a bird house is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 bird houses have become our favorites. Getting a bird house for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these bird houses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.

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