Medium-sized land birds

From the pileated woodpecker to the northern flicker, medium-sized birds can be spotted across North America. Learn how to spot them in your area with our helpful species profiles.

Red-Headed Woodpecker

Red-Headed Woodpecker

The Red-Headed Woodpecker has several colorful nicknames, including flag bird, jelly coat, patriotic bird and shirttail bird.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

The name Red-Bellied Woodpecker is misleading, for the red patch on its belly is rather faint. It occasionally feeds in southern orange groves, but makes up for this by eating quantities of destructive insects.

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

As big as a crow, the pileated woodpecker is the largest member of the woodpecker family in North America. Its name comes from the Latin word pileatus, which means “capped,” alluding to the bird’s conspicuous crest.

Northern Flicker

Northern Flicker

This unusual woodpecker is often seen on the ground, searching for ants and licking them up with its long tongue. Northern Flickers do nest in holes in trees, or tree substitutes such as telephone poles.

Mourning Dove

Mourning Dove

A gentle and entertaining nester, the Mourning Dove raises as many as five broods each year! The whistling noise it emits when taking flight is made when the outer wing feathers beat the air.

Hairy Woodpecker

Hairy Woodpecker

Almost identical to the Downy Woodpecker, the Hairy Woodpecker is larger in size and has a much heavier, longer bill.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Frequent backyard visitors, Downy Woodpeckers may form pairs very early in the season, tapping out their courtship song on a tree trunk. Listen for this rhythmic sound as early as January.

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