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Description, habitat, behavior, diet, nesting, and conservation status. After the trees have died, they will pry the bark from the trunks in search of grubs and insects. (From Audubon Field Guide) Black-backed Woodpecker Description, range, habitat, calls, identification tips, and behavior. © 2001-2020 Nature of New England, Identification tips for Black-backed Woodpecker, Year-round sightings of the Black-backed Woodpecker over the past 10 years (2009-2019). Black-backed Woodpeckers moved into many affected towns and cities, far south of their normal range, to feed on beetles that infested the dying trees. Black-backed, American Three-toed, and Eurasian Three-toed Woodpeckers have only three toes on each foot; all other woodpeckers have four. These enterprising birds locate burned forests just weeks to months after a forest fire and then live off the bounty of insects over the next 5 to 8 years. Where the two species are found together, the Black-backed usually dominates, perhaps driving the Three-toed away from choice feeding or nesting areas. This bird is also found locally in other areas of Maine. The oldest recorded Black-backed Woodpecker was a male, and was at least 4 years, 11 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Idaho. and includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. These forests are often bursting with birds and harbor many species of woodpeckers, all but guaranteeing great birding. After a fire, many plants and animals—including western wood pewees, western bluebirds, morel mushrooms, wood-boring beetles, and, most notably, black-backed woodpeckers—begin to live in the burned areas. Black-backed Woodpecker Habitat, diet, feeding behavior, nesting, and conservation status of this bird. It is an inky black bird with a sharp white stripe on its black face, fine black barring on the flanks, and, in males, a yellow crown patch. In most such areas, the woodpeckers had not been detected previously—and have not been seen since. Black-backed Woodpecker by Tom Johnson | Macaulay Library. Otherwise, the black and white bars on the back and presence of a … Nearly synonymous with burned forests over much of its range, the Black-backed Woodpecker specializes on eating big, juicy wood-boring beetle larvae. (See eBird map below), Map from eBird Includes range map, photos, and calls. Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds. “This bird [the black-backed woodpecker] screams fire,” said Dick Hutto, an emeritus professor at the University of Montana. Listen for their sharp chip notes (with a bit of a lisp compared to Hairy Woodpeckers) and for drumming that trails off at the end (very similar to American Three-toed). During the 1950s and 1960s, Dutch elm disease ravaged elm trees planted in urban areas in the Northeast. Order:  Piciformes A recent (2010) study of the genetics of Black-backed Woodpecker established that the Oregon/California population and South Dakota Black Hills populations may be distinct from the boreal population. Black-backeds often stay in one place for long periods and forage fairly low on the main trunk, allowing good views. A curious aspect of the Black-backed Woodpecker’s distribution is its absence from the central and southern Rocky Mountains, even though it occurs throughout the Sierra Nevada of central California. Black-backed Woodpecker Information. More research is needed to see if these populations can be distinguished as subspecies. Includes range map, photos, and calls. Black-backed Woodpeckers and many other woodpecker species excavate a new nest hole with each nesting attempt. It is an inky black bird with a sharp white stripe on its black face, fine black barring on the flanks, and, in males, a yellow crown patch. Physically it resembles the Black-backed Woodpecker, although it’s a bit smaller with a shorter bill. These irruptions have been attributed to changes in abundance of their wood-boring insect prey or to overpopulation of the woodpeckers following an insect outbreak. Over much of their range, the secret to finding Black-backed Woodpeckers boils down to finding burned forests between about 1 and 8 years old. During the nonbreeding season, Black-backed Woodpeckers occasionally move to areas south of the regular breeding range. (From Audubon Field Guide), Black-backed Woodpecker In areas with fewer fires, they may also use bark beetle outbreaks or bogs. (From WhatBird.com), Black-backed Woodpecker Some scientists point to this as evidence that severe forest fires have been shaping species for millennia and are a natural part of many landscapes. U.S./Canada Population Estimate: 1,800,000 Population Trend: Increasing Habitat: Boreal and mountain forest Threats: Habitat loss, fire suppression, post-fire salvage logging Note: Like American Three-toed Woodpeckers, Black-backed Woodpeckers thrive in burned forests, where they harvest wood-boring beetle larvae. Nearly synonymous with burned forests over much of its range, the Black-backed Woodpecker specializes on eating big, juicy wood-boring beetle larvae. Description, range, habitat, calls, identification tips, and behavior. The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. Black-backed Woodpecker. Woodpeckers(Order: Piciformes, Family:Picidae). Generally uncommon, but not so quiet or inconspicuous as the American Three-toed Woodpecker. Look for stands of large, thick-barked trees where patches of bark have been chipped away. Habitat, diet, feeding behavior, nesting, and conservation status of this bird. The Black-backed Woodpecker is one of the two northern woodpeckers and the American Three-toed Woodpecker is the other. Winter records have occurred in Iowa, central Illinois, northern Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Jersey, and Delaware. Nearly synonymous with burned forests over much of its range, the Black-backed Woodpecker specializes on eating big, juicy wood-boring beetle larvae. Garden Shop, New England is located in the northeastern United States Family:  Picidae, Black-backed Woodpecker Black-backed Woodpeckers often forage on charred, blackish tree trunks, where their dark plumage helps them blend in remarkably well. These woodpeckers prefer burnt out forests. It is an inky black bird with a sharp white stripe on its black face, fine black barring on the flanks, and, in males, a yellow crown patch. Year-round sightings of the Black-backed Woodpecker over the past 10 years (2009-2019) In New England, the Black-backed Woodpecker is found year round in the far northeastern corner of Vermont, northern New Hampshire, and northern and western Maine. Christmas Bird Count Map Historical CBC Map from USGS, Birds | Mammals | Butterflies Both birds can be seen in search of food in the southern regions in the winter months. Over time, this habit creates a ready supply of nest holes that can be used by so-called “secondary cavity nesters”—species like chickadees, nuthatches, bluebirds, and owls that nest in tree cavities but cannot excavate their own. Three-toed woodpeckers are uncommon in New Mexico, found at higher elevations in the forested north part of the state. 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