A Lewis’s Woodpecker is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Lewis’s Woodpeckers. We have also put together a list of fun Lewis’s Woodpecker t-shirts, Lewis’s Woodpecker bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird watching items.
About Lewis’s Woodpeckers
It may have the name woodpecker in its name but it is a forager just like the flycatcher and has a flight movement similar to that of a crow. It is a multicolored bird with a pink breast, gray neck, and greenback unlike the more distinctly colored members of its family. It rarely digs into trees for carpenter ants instead it flies after insects and eats them off of trees barks.
Description and Identification
Lewis’s Woodpeckers are among the largest species of American woodpeckers, with their
lengths measuring up to 10 – 11 inches. They are hefty with elongated bodies, long wings,
and long tails. While their bills resemble those of other woodpeckers, they are thinner than
average. Their wings are much broader than other woodpeckers and can span between 19.3
– 20.5 inches. They are marked by their redbreasts and blackish-green colors that have a
black rump. They have gray collars and upper breasts, with light pink bellies and red faces.
Lewis’s Woodpecker Color Pattern
From afar the Lewis’s Woodpecker seems all dark but in close range its color pattern is visible. Its pink belly, light gray collar, and dark green back are visible. It has a small head with a red face and a short chisel-like bill.
Lewis’s Woodpecker Size
Lewis’s Woodpecker is having elongated bodies, long tails, and wings. They are relatively larger than the Acorn Woodpecker but smaller than the Northern flicker. The adult Lewis’s Woodpeckers have measurements of;
- Length 2 – 28 cm
- Weight 88 – 138 g
- Wingspan 40 – 52 cm
Lewis’s Woodpecker Behavior
Lewis’s Woodpeckers forage for insects and bugs on the ground and middle of the forest. They perch on trees just like normal woodpeckers but also perch themselves upright on bare branches to catch insects in flight just like the flycatcher. Their flights are slow with strong wing beats and a couple of glides.
Lewis’s Woodpecker Food
Lewis’s Woodpeckers follow diets similar to other woodpeckers – insects, nuts, and fruits.
However, unlike other woodpeckers, they tend to catch flying insects mid-air or pick them
from branches and tree trunks, rather than excavating or probing for wood-boring insects.
They also feed on acorns, berries, and nuts, which they store in cracks and holes during fall and winter. These birds are also frequently spotted in open bird feeders in urban areas,
where they have been observed to be aggressive against other birds.
Their diet consists mainly of insects, fruits, and nuts. They prefer catching insects in flight rather than digging through hardwood for carpenter ants.
Lewis’s Woodpecker Habitat
These birds breed in open ponderosa pine forests and burned forests with an abundance of
standing dead trees. They can also be found breeding in oak woodlands, orchards, pinyon-
juniper woodlands, and in woodlands near streams. During the nonbreeding season, they
move towards cottonwoods near streams, orchards, and oak woodlands with a surplus of
They frequent pine forests, woodlands, and burned forests near water sources like rivers and streams.
Range and Migration
Lewis’s Woodpeckers are large woodpeckers that were named after Meriwether Lewis, an
American explorer who discovered this species of the birds. They are found along eastern
The United States and south-eastern Canada, with birds being either partially migratory or
permanent residents of their regions depending on where they lie in their range. Flocks in
northern portions tend to migrate south for the winter, whereas individuals further south may
either stay throughout the year or may move short distances to take advantage of temporary
sources. Their migratory patterns vary from year to year, and they may either migrate
individually or in flocks.
Lewis’s Woodpecker Lifecycle
Lewis’s woodpeckers nest mainly on cavities made by other woodpeckers or naturally occurring. The nest cavity is mostly of a dead or decaying tree. Females lay 5 to 9 eggs and incubate them for 12 to 16 days. 34 days after hatching the chicks have the strength to fly out of the nest and find its own food.
Lewis’s Woodpecker Nesting
Lewis’s Woodpeckers find nesting cavities in holes and crevices created by other
woodpeckers or created naturally in dead and decaying trees. The trees that they typically
nest in are cottonwood, ponderosa pine, paper birch, white pine, and other trees that begin
to decay. They have been observed to nest in live trees on occasion as well. These sites can
be as low as 5 feet and as high as over 100 feet above the ground, though they tend to nest
below 60 feet high. While they rarely excavate their own cavities, they enlarge and remodel
existing ones to suit their needs, as each brood can have up to 5 – 9 eggs. There is minimal
lining in the nests, with only the bottom of the cavities lined with wood chips.
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 Lewis’s Woodpeckers
The most common types of bird watching binoculars for viewing Lewis’s 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.
Lewis’s Woodpecker T-shirts
If you love the Lewis’s Woodpecker you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Lewis’s 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 Lewis’s 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.
Lewis’s Woodpecker Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Lewis’s 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 Lewis’s Woodpecker
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 Lewis’s Woodpecker
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.