Red-headed Woodpeckers are a pretty neat bird. They are a year-round bird for us but they are also uncommon so keep an eye out for them.
So I wanted to do this post on them, not only because they’re a beautiful bird that is uncommon but also because I’ve received a few emails in the past few weeks about sightings of them in places that range from Algonkian Park in Sterling to various backyards in Round Hill and Middleburg and it’s wonderful to hear about them in different parts of the county!
We had one come to our house in Waterford a few years ago but there were a series of territorial disputes between it and the Red-bellied Woodpeckers that were already established in our woods. Ultimately, the Red-head left our area for one with fewer Red-bellied I believe.
At the Taylor home however, they are having a great time enjoying these birds, three, four and even five at a time coming to the suet and seed feeders and living and nesting in their woods! This picture was taken before the snows but the Taylors are having a great time watching them throughout the year.
Red-headed woodpeckers are forest dwellers and love forests with dead and dying trees since they provide such rich habitat and food sources for them. Woodland wetlands and swamps like those we find at Algonkian Park and at Banshee Reeks are great places to look for these birds since you’ll find dead and dying trees there too.
You can learn more about Red-headed Woodpeckers on Cornell’s All About Birds page. We also have a habitat Herald article on the Woodpeckers of Loudoun that is a nice resource.