5 Types Of Woodpeckers In Ontario (2023)
Woodpeckers are a diverse group of birds found in many parts of the world. Ontario is home to several species of woodpeckers, including the Pileated Woodpecker, the Red-headed Woodpecker, and the Downy Woodpecker. These birds can be found in forests, parks, and residential areas, and they play an important role in the local ecology by helping to control insect populations and dispersing tree seeds.
There are five most common types of woodpeckers in Ontario, including the Pileated Woodpecker, the Red-headed Woodpecker, the Hairy Woodpecker, the Northern Flicker and the Downy Woodpecker.
5 Types Of Woodpeckers In Ontario
1. Red-headed Woodpecker
The Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) is a medium-sized type of woodpecker in Ontario that is native to North America. This species is found in the eastern half of the continent, from southern Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, and from the Atlantic coast to the Great Plains. The Red-headed Woodpecker is a colourful bird, with a bright red head, black and white wings and tail, and a white body. They are often seen perched atop dead trees, eating insects and other small invertebrates.
In Ontario, the Red-headed Woodpecker is a common breeding bird. It is most often found in open deciduous forests, but also in urban areas, grasslands, and farmlands. They can be seen during the summer months, from April to September, when they are actively foraging for food.
The Red-headed Woodpecker is an important species for the conservation of Ontario’s forests. These birds are important predators of insects, which can help to keep insect populations in check. They are also important dispersers of tree seeds. As they excavate cavities in trees, they create nesting sites for other cavity-nesting birds, such as bluebirds and purple martins.
The Red-headed Woodpecker is a shy bird and prefers to stay in the canopy of trees. They can be difficult to spot, as they are easily camouflaged by the foliage. When they are spotted, they are often seen flying rapidly from tree to tree and then perching on the trunk or branches.
The Red-headed Woodpecker is a valuable part of Ontario’s avifauna and should be protected and conserved. As their habitats are threatened by development and logging, it is important to ensure these birds will have enough food and nesting sites to survive.
2. Downy Woodpecker
The Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) is a small and abundant woodpecker found in North America. It is the most widespread woodpecker in Ontario, and one of the most familiar backyard birds.
In appearance, the Downy Woodpecker is a small bird with a black and white striped back, black wings with white spots, a white breast, and a black and white barred tail. Its face is mostly white with a black cap, and its bill is black. Males have a small red patch on the back of their heads. The Downy Woodpecker is about 6-7 inches long and has a wingspan of 11-13 inches.
Downy Woodpeckers are found in a wide range of habitats in Ontario, including deciduous, mixed, and coniferous forests, parks, urban areas, and gardens. They feed on a variety of insects, spiders, and other invertebrates, as well as fruits, nuts, and seeds. They are often seen foraging on trees and are particularly fond of tree sap.
Downy Woodpeckers nest in cavities in trees, which they excavate themselves. They are monogamous and will return to the same nest year after year. Both males and females participate in building the nest and raising the young. The male will defend the nest from intruders.
Downy Woodpeckers are an important part of Ontario’s bird community, providing food for other animals and helping to control insect populations. They are also a source of enjoyment for birdwatchers. With their distinctive calls and behaviour, they are a welcome addition to any backyard.
3. Hairy Woodpecker
The Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) is a medium-sized woodpecker found in Ontario and across most of North America. It is the most widespread species of woodpecker in the province. The Hairy Woodpecker is easily identifiable thanks to its bold black and white plumage and red patch at the back of its head. It is an adaptable species and can be found in both coniferous and deciduous forests, as well as urban and rural areas.
The Hairy Woodpecker is a cavity nester, meaning it excavates cavities in dead trees and branches to make its home. The bird is monogamous and will pair up with its mate for several years. The female will lay between four and six eggs in the cavity, which both parents will take turns incubating. The young will stay in the nest for several weeks before fledging.
The Hairy Woodpecker is an omnivore, meaning it will feed on both insects and fruits. The bird will forage for insects in dead trees and branches, using its long, chisel-like bill to excavate for food. It will also consume a variety of fruits, nuts, and seeds.
The Hairy Woodpecker is an important part of the Ontario ecosystem, as it helps to control insect populations. The bird is also an important food source for predators such as hawks and owls.
4. Northern Flicker
The Northern Flicker is one of the most common types of woodpecker in Ontario, Canada. It is a medium-sized bird, with a slender body and long beak. It has a distinctive plumage pattern, with a bright red patch on its chest and black barring on its back. The Northern Flicker can be found in both urban and rural areas and is typically found in open woodlands, parks, and gardens.
The Northern Flicker is an omnivore, and its diet consists of fruits, nuts, seeds, insects, and even small reptiles and amphibians. It can also be seen eating suet, which is a type of fat. It is an important part of the ecosystem in Ontario, helping to control insect populations and disperse seeds.
The Northern Flicker is a cavity nester, meaning it will nest in a hole that it has created in a tree. It is also a monogamous species and will often return to the same nesting site year after year. The male and female will both take part in the excavation of the nest hole, as well as incubating and tending to the young.
The Northern Flicker is a highly vocal species, and its loud call can often be heard in the spring and summer months. The call is a sharp, high-pitched “kik-kik-kik” that can be heard up to a kilometre away.
The Northern Flicker is considered a species of least concern, however, its population is declining due to habitat loss and fragmentation. It is important to protect its habitats and ensure that trees with cavities suitable for nesting are not cut down.
5. Pileated Woodpecker
The Pileated Woodpecker is one of the most recognizable types of woodpecker in Ontario. It is a large, black and white bird with a red crest, and a loud, distinctive call. The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest in Ontario, measuring up to 45 cm in length. Its black and white body is offset by a bold red crest, and its long bill is used for chiselling into the wood.
Pileated Woodpeckers are found in a variety of habitats, including deciduous and coniferous forests, as well as wetlands, fields, and farms. They feed on a variety of insects, including ants, bees, and beetles, which they search for by chiselling into dead or decaying wood. They are known to excavate large, oval-shaped holes in trees in search of food.
The Pileated Woodpecker is an important part of Ontario’s ecosystem, as it helps to control insect populations and provides an important food source for other animals. The species is also important culturally, as it is the subject of many Native American stories and legends.
The Pileated Woodpecker is a protected species in Ontario and is listed as a species of special concern under the Ontario Endangered Species Act. It is important to protect the habitat of this species, as it is vulnerable to habitat loss and fragmentation. This includes preventing the clear-cutting of forests, maintaining mature forests, and protecting wetlands.
The Pileated Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker found in Ontario, measuring up to 19 inches in length and weighing up to 4 ounces. The Red-headed Woodpecker has a red head, white body, and black wings. It is smaller than the Pileated Woodpecker, measuring up to 13 inches in length and weighing up to 2 ounces. The Downy Woodpecker is the smallest in Ontario, measuring up to 6 inches in length and weighing up to 0.3 ounces. All of these woodpeckers can be found in forests, parks, and residential areas in Ontario.
Woodpeckers are important members of the Ontario ecosystem, playing a role in controlling insect populations and dispersing tree seeds. There are several types of woodpeckers in Ontario: the Pileated Woodpecker, the Red-headed Woodpecker, the Hairy Woodpecker, the Northern Flicker and the Downy Woodpecker. Each species has its unique characteristics, but all of them can be found in forests, parks, and residential areas throughout the province. By observing and learning about these birds, we can better appreciate their ecological importance and help protect them from habitat destruction.