American Three-toed Woodpecker Facts and Photos

Information about the Bird American Three-toed Woodpecker

These birds often move into areas with large numbers of insect-infested trees, often following a forest fire or flooding. This bird is likely to give way to the black-backed woodpecker where the two species compete for habitat.Three-toed woodpeckers forage on conifers in search of wood-boring beetle larvae or other insects. They may also eat fruit and tree sap.This bird is normally a permanent resident, but northern birds may move south and birds at high elevations may move to lower levels in winter.The female lays 3 to 7 but most often 4 eggs in a nest cavity in a dead conifer or sometimes a live tree or pole. The pair excavates a new nest each year.The breeding habitat is coniferous forests across western Canada, Alaska and the midwestern United States. It has also been breeding in various spots in Michigan's upper peninsula.This woodpecker has a length of 21cm (8.3in), a wingspan of 38cm (15in), and an average weight of 55g (1.9oz); its maximum lifespan in the wild is 6 years. It closely resembles the black-backed woodpecker, which is also three-toed. Until recently, it was considered to be the same species as the Eurasian three-toed woodpecker, (P. tridactylus). Adults are black on the head, wings and rump, and white from the throat to the belly; the flanks are white with black bars. The back is white with black bars and the tail is black with the white outer feathers barred with black. The adult male has a yellow cap.The American three-toed woodpecker (Picoides dorsalis) is a medium-sized woodpecker (family Picidae).

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