Arizona Woodpecker

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Leuconotopicus arizonae

Arizona Woodpecker

The Arizona Woodpecker is mainly known as subspecies of Strickland’s Woodpecker (Picoides stricklandi), but the latter is now split into two distinct species.

The northern birds from Arizona are named Arizona Woodpecker, and the southern populations of central Mexico are named Strickland’s Woodpecker.

Both species are very similar. It is the only brown and white woodpecker instead black and white like almost all the others.  

It is 7.1 – 7.9 inches in length, with a wingspan of 14.2 inches and weight of 34 – 51 grams.

Adult males have brown plumage overall. Upperparts are brown with indistinct white wing bars, and sparsely spotted white primaries. They have dark brown crown and nape, with red patch on the hindcrown.

Females have similar appearance but lack the red patch on the nape which is dark brown.

Juveniles are duller than adults, darker on the underparts with heavier markings.

Young males and females have orange- red on crown, only on hindcrown in females.


Utters sharp, slightly shrill “chik” or “peek”, also a nasal “chriek’a” repeated 2-5 times, and a rapid, screeching chatter.


Feeds on insects, mainly beetles and larvae, fruits, acorns and seeds.

Frequents arid to semi-humid pine-oak woodlands and riparian wooded areas with sycamore and walnut in canyons.

Found in extreme SW New Mexico and SE Arizona. The species extends southwards into Mexico through Sierra Madre Occidental.

Nest is a hole excavated in tree trunk, in dead part of evergreen oaks, sycamores, riparian walnuts, and also in agave stems. Both sexes excavate the hole, but mainly the male.

The female lays 2 - 4 white eggs. Incubation by both sexes lasts about two weeks.



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