6 Reasons Why Woodpeckers Have Special Meaning

Some types of woodpeckers have meaning for bird lovers. Find out which woodpecker sightings fill our readers with joy and delight.

Which type of woodpecker is your favorite? Out of more than woodpecker species in North America, Birds & Blooms readers adore these common fliers. Find out which woodpecker sightings have extra special meaning for your fellow backyard birders.

Do owl sightings have special meaning?

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

how to clean a suet feederCourtesy Lori Schimpf

Red-bellied woodpeckers have a darling call and are so adorable as they glide sideways around a tree, pecking for insects,” says Louise McVay of Waleska, Georgia.

How do woodpeckers use their tongues to find food?

Pileated Woodpecker

pileated woodpeckerCourtesy Jeanette Rucker

“The pileated woodpecker, because it is so huge, prehistoric-looking and loud,” says Lori June Houle-Pascador of Atlanta, Michigan.

Ivory-billed woodpecker vs pileated woodpecker: are they related?

Downy Woodpecker

what do woodpeckers eat, downy woodpecker on suet feederCourtesy Laurie Stuchlik

“I love downy woodpeckers. They bob and sway as they attack suet, as if dancing to music only they can hear,” says Karen Crozier of Toccoa, Georgia.

After you’re done reading about these woodpeckers that have special meaning, boost your birding knowledge with mind-blowing woodpecker facts.

Northern Flicker

northern flicker, why do woodpeckers peckCourtesy Michael Schilmoeller

Northern flicker because it is the best-dressed bird! Color all over, a polka-dot chest, yellow under the wings and tail—top it all off with a mustache, and that’s one fancy bird!” says Vita Higgins of Cleves, Ohio.

Find out why woodpeckers peck and how to stop it. Plus learn if woodpeckers kill or damage trees.

Hairy Woodpecker

hairy woodpecker on tree in snowCourtesy Judith Dedes

“My favorite is the hairy woodpecker. One visits my feeder every morning and squawks to let me know it’s there,” says Bonnie Webb of Holderness, New Hampshire.

What does a baby woodpecker look like?

Red-Headed Woodpecker

winter bird feeding, Bnbbyc16 Susan Wilson 001Courtesy Susan Wilson

“The red-headed woodpecker. I love its beautiful markings and brilliant red head. The ones that visit us take whole peanuts in the shell from the feeder. They eat them on the power pole in the yard,” says Wendy Griffin of Liberty, Illinois.

Next, meet the sapsucker birds: woodpeckers with a sweet tooth.

Lori Vanover
Lori has 20 years of experience writing and editing home, garden, birding and lifestyle content for several publishers. As Birds & Blooms senior digital editor, she leads a team of writers and editors sharing birding tips and expert gardening advice. Since joining Trusted Media Brands 13 years ago, she has held roles in digital and print, editing magazines and books, curating special interest publications, managing social media accounts, creating digital content and newsletters, and working with the Field Editors—Birds & Blooms network of more than 50 backyard birders. Passionate about animals and nature, Lori has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural and Environmental Communications from the University of Illinois. In 2023, she became certified as a Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener, and she is a member of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology and sits on the organization's Publications Advisory Committee. She frequently checks on her bird feeders while working from home and tests new varieties of perennials, herbs and vegetable plants in her ever-growing backyard gardens.