Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for




Date of this Version

January 1994


Woodpeckers (Melanerpes erythrocephalusand Picoides pubescens) belong to the order Piciformes and the family Picidae, which also includes flickers and sapsuckers. Woodpeckers are found throughout the United States. Because they are dependent on trees for shelter and food, woodpeckers are found mostly in or on the edge of wooded areas. Most woodpeckers feed on tree-living or wood-boring insects; however, some feed on a variety of other insects. Woodpeckers are an interesting and familiar group of birds. Woodpecker damage to buildings is a relatively infrequent problem nationwide, but may be significant regionally and locally. Woodpeckers are classified as migratory, nongame birds and are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.