Black-backed Woodpecker

Black-backed Woodpecker Picture

Black-backed Woodpecker

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

About Black-backed Woodpeckers

The Black-backed Woodpecker is alternatively named Arctic Three-toed Woodpecker. This bird species breed in the northern regions of America. The Black-backed Woodpecker has identical characteristics with the American Three-toed Woodpecker in its choice of food, habitat, and behaviors. During winter this bird doesn’t migrate. This species of the woodpecker is reclusive and will only interact with other birds when defending its breeding territory.

Description and Identification

Generally, a male Black-backed Woodpecker is known to be a medium size bird with a solid black color
of identification that has a single stripe on the face. Males are usually identified to have yellow crown
patches. They are found is burned over forests.  As they feed on burned trees they tend to be in the
color of gray with barred flanks.
A female is identified as a medium-sized woodpecker that has a single white cheek stripped and barred
flanks. The wings of the female have less white spotting when compared to Male. An American
Woodpecker has three toes rather than four toes.

Black-backed Woodpecker Size

  • Length: the birds have an average length of 9 inches.
  • Weight: a fully matured woodpecker weighs an average of 66 grams
  • Wingspan: this bird species has an average wingspan of 15 inches

Black-backed Woodpecker Appearance

The adults have a blackhead, wings, and rump. The belly, rump, and throat are white with black bars. An adult male of this bird species has a yellow crown with a forehead that has dull white spots. It has a short and heavy bill which is chisel-like. The only distinction between the male and female is that the female has a whitish crown on its blackhead. The young ones resemble an adult female woodpecker.

Black-backed Woodpecker Feeding

Woodpeckers food contains different types. They tend to eat small bark beetles, they eat jewel beetles,
they even tend to eat fruits and insects. They are known to eat large beetles, a family of long-horned
wood borers and flat-headed wood borers. They usually eat varieties of food which they can find. They
tend to eat different species of insects.

These birds usually forage for live or dead conifers with a preference for spruces. They also feed on insects. Sometimes a pair will forage together during the courtship period.

Black-backed Woodpecker Habitat

Black-Backed Woodpeckers are generally seen in the burned-over forests of the Northern part of 
America or the western mountains of the country. They also indulge in different types of habitats such
as Lodgepole Pine and White-cedar. These types of species can also be seen in the unburied forest as
well but they tend to stay more burned over forests for a longer period. They also tend to reach their
highest densities in burned-over forests. Black-Backed Woodpeckers stay even in the insect-infested
the forest as well. If the forest areas are burned as they severely logged then there is a reduction of the
usage of woodpeckers in the forest. Woodpeckers’ best suitable habitat is burnt forest where they can
stay over 8 years in one place. They can stay in other habitats such as dead trees which are abundant
and wooden bogs.

These woodpeckers prefer living in conifer forests. They also set up nests in areas with a big offering of wood-eating insects and many trees.

Range and Migration

Black-backed Woodpecker has a scientific name which is also known as Picoides arcticus. They are a
population of 1 million species which is huge. They are mostly found in burned forests when a fire has
occurred in the forest they are most likely to stay in that year for a long time. Black-backed
Woodpeckers are generally seen migrating to lower slopes where they can nest between the period of
April to June where they can lay eggs. They continue to lay eggs and expand their population by staying
at burned-over forest areas which synchronize with their color in the forest area. They lay eggs to
decrease the population of insects. They use different voices and postures to call for their mates or warn
them if they are any rivals coming as well.

Black-backed Woodpecker Life and Behavior

It is not uncommon for pairs of this species of woodpeckers to remain together for more than one nesting season. The nest is built by both sexes 6 meters from the ground in a standing dead tree. Their defense mechanism is usually to ignore any intrusion to their nest. The female lays an average of 4 to 6 white eggs each season. Both the male and female incubate the eggs for about two weeks. The young ones are looked after by both parents and leave the nest a month after hatching.

Black-backed Woodpecker Nesting

They nest on live trees which are about 10-35 feet off the ground. They usually excavate in dead tree
areas which have a high density in large trees. Makes take an active part in the nest whereas a female
builds the nest holes which are 1.8 inches in diameter and 8 inches deep in the bottom of the cavity.


Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes

At 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 Black-backed Woodpeckers

The most common types of bird watching binoculars for viewing Black-backed 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.

Black-backed Woodpecker T-shirts

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

Black-backed Woodpecker Iron On Patches

Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.

The Black-backed Woodpecker is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.

Black-backed Woodpecker Stickers

Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Black-backed 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 Black-backed Woodpeckers

There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.

Best Bird Houses for Black-backed Woodpeckers

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

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