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How to distinguish between Woodpeckers


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#1 collegegirl1984

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:49 AM

I apologize if this post should be placed in a different category. I am wondering where I might find resources to distinguish between different types of woodpeckers found in southern Indiana. I took a photo today of a young woodpecker, but I have no idea what variety he/she is.

Thanks!

#2 meghann

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:52 AM

You can look on whatbird.com, click search, then put in your state, and keep going from there. Or you could post it here and we'd be happy to help you out!

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#3 Cavan Wood

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 12:58 AM

The whatbird or e-nature sites should do the job, but if you're planning on getting into birds, I HIGHLY recommend a field guide. Your common woodpeckers in summer in Indiana will be downy, hairy, northern, red-bellied, and pileated. Only the first two can be confused really, so look for a large bill on the hairy and a short bill on the smaller downy.
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#4 JimBob

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:00 AM

By northern scott means northern flicker.

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#5 collegegirl1984

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:04 AM

Thanks! I do actually have a field guide for North America, it's just quicker for me to post and get answers here than looking it up in a book. I'm a bit lazy I guess. ha ha.

You're right, the only ones I get confused are the downy and hairy. Is this a downy then?
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The whatbird or e-nature sites should do the job, but if you're planning on getting into birds, I HIGHLY recommend a field guide. Your common woodpeckers in summer in Indiana will be downy, hairy, northern, red-bellied, and pileated. Only the first two can be confused really, so look for a large bill on the hairy and a short bill on the smaller downy.



#6 Cavan Wood

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:05 AM

Yes, that's a juvenile downy.
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#7 collegegirl1984

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:05 AM

Thansk for the clarification! I googled and figured out that the northern was the same as the flicker.


By northern scott means northern flicker.



#8 collegegirl1984

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:06 AM

Yes, that's a juvenile downy.


Great! Thanks so much for the response!

#9 ColoTomo

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:14 AM

By northern scott means northern flicker.

And in Indiana, you would be getting the Yellow-shafted subspecies. You could possibly see an intergrade between the two subspecies but it would be exceedingly rare where you live, so expect to find the pure-bred yellow-shafted form when you see one
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#10 collegegirl1984

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:19 AM

I have never seen a yellow woodpecker. Only hairy, downy, northern flicker, and red bellied. I will keep that in mind though, Thanks!

And in Indiana, you would be getting the Yellow-shafted subspecies. You could possibly see an intergrade between the two subspecies but it would be exceedingly rare where you live, so expect to find the pure-bred yellow-shafted form when you see one



#11 meghann

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:25 AM

I have never seen a yellow woodpecker. Only hairy, downy, northern flicker, and red bellied. I will keep that in mind though, Thanks!


Yellow refers to which type of northern flicker. There are red-shafted and yellow shafted. In your area, yellow is what you'll most likely see.

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#12 sdearth

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 01:32 AM

Yellow refers to which type of northern flicker. There are red-shafted and yellow shafted. In your area, yellow is what you'll most likely see.


Look for the yellow bellied sapsucker

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#13 fisherman1313

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Posted 07 May 2012 - 02:34 AM

I have never seen a yellow woodpecker.



Yellow-shafted and Red-shafted refers to the color of the shafts of the flight feathers. When you see a Northern Flicker in flight the shafts of the wing and tail feathers will be either red or yellow. Intergrades, showing a mix of red and yellow are also possible.

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