Following article will help you identify male and female woodpeckers fast.
Male and female woodpeckers frequently have fairly similar appearances, with the exception of a loss of pigment, generally red, on the face or head in females.
Sometimes it can be tough to distinguish among species, so check out our quick image ID guide for the most popular woodpecker species in North America.
Male vs. Female Acorn Woodpecker
The male Acorn Woodpecker has a larger red crown on his head, which distinguishes him from the female.
Male Acorn Woodpecker
Male Acorn Woodpeckers have a red cap which reaches all the way to their face and meets the white of their face.
Female Acorn Woodpecker
Female Acorn Woodpeckers have a smaller red crown which is completely encircled by black feathers.
Downy Woodpecker Male vs Female
Male and female Downy Woodpeckers differ in that males have a red patch on the back of their heads while females do not.
Male Downy Woodpecker
A red patch on the back of the head distinguishes Downy Woodpeckers. They’re also a little smaller than Hairy Woodpeckers.
Female Downy Woodpecker
Female Downy Woodpeckers lack the red patch on their heads.
Male vs. female Hairy Woodpecker
Male and female Hairy Woodpeckers differ in that males have a red patch on the back of their heads while females do not.
Male Hairy Woodpecker
Male Hairy Woodpeckers have quite a red patch on the back of their heads.
Female Hairy Woodpecker
Female Hairy Woodpeckers lack the red patch on the rear of the head.
Northern Flicker Male vs Female
Male and female Northern Flickers differ in that the males have a red or black mark on their face from the beak to the neck that resembles a’mustache.’
Male Northern Flicker
Male Northern Flickers have a’mustache’ that goes from the beak to the neck and is either black or red, depending on whether they are from the eastern or western states.
Female Northern Flicker
Female Northern Flickers lack a ‘mustache.’
Pileated Woodpecker Male vs Female
The male and female Pileated Woodpeckers differ in that the male has a red spot on the cheek while the female has a black patch.
Male Pileated Woodpecker
Male Pileated Woodpeckers have a red patch on the side of their cheek.
Female Pileated Woodpecker
Female Pileated Woodpeckers lack the red spot on their cheeks.
Red-bellied Woodpecker Male vs Female
The distinction between male and female Red-bellied Woodpeckers have a red cap that extends all the way to the beak from the back of the neck, whereas females only have red on the neck and rear of the head, not the front.
Male Red-bellied Woodpecker
Male Red-bellied Turtle Red is found on the top of the head and along the back of the neck of woodpeckers.
Female Red-bellied Woodpecker
Female Red-bellied Woodpeckers have red just on the back of their necks, not on the top of their heads.
Red-headed Woodpecker Male vs Female
All male and female Red-headed Woodpeckers have the same appearance. Juveniles, on the other hand, are brown and do not have red heads. As such, if you see a drab woodpecker with a Red-headed Woodpecker, it’s most likely a mother and her young.
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker Male vs Female
The only distinction between male and female Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers is that the male has a red throat while the ladies have a white throat.
Male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
The throats of male Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers are red.
Female Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker females have white throats.