• Acorn Woodpecker

    The eye-catching Acorn Woodpecker’s head is boldly patterned in black, white, and red, punctuated with wild-looking white eyes that give it a clownish look. It's a medium-sized bird, bigger than a Downy Woodpecker and a bit smaller than its close,… Read More »

  • Woodpecker Species of the United States: A Photo List of All Native Species

    Excluding vagrant species, 23 woodpecker species are native to the United States (see list below). Although they vary in form and habit, most of these birds are widespread and can be found relatively easily. While a significant number of woodpecker… Read More »

  • Pileated Woodpecker

    With flashing black-and-white wings and a bright red crest, when a crow-sized Pileated Woodpecker swoops by, even the most experienced birders stop in their tracks. This is the largest of North American woodpeckers. In the United States, only the Ivory-billed… Read More »

  • Red-bellied Woodpecker

    The Red-bellied Woodpecker belongs to the boldly marked Melanerpes genus, a group of woodpeckers found only in the New World that includes Acorn and Lewis's Woodpeckers. The genus name derives from the Greek words for "black" and "creeper." Oddly enough,… Read More »

  • Red-headed Woodpecker

    The Red-headed Woodpecker is a charismatic and colorful species, recognizable to even the most casual birder. Its eye-catching plumage gives this woodpecker a number of whimsical nicknames, including flag bird, flying checker-board, jellycoat, patriotic bird, and shirt-tail bird. They are… Read More »

  • Northern Flicker

    The Northern Flicker is a standout, even in an unusual family of birds that includes the pink-and-green, flycatching Lewis's Woodpecker and the clown-faced, nut-hoarding Acorn Woodpecker. This brownish-gray woodpecker, larger than an American Robin, has a black-barred back and is… Read More »

  • Brown-headed Nuthatch

    The perky, social Brown-headed Nuthatch never strays far from its favorite pine-forest habitat, where small flocks range through the trees, easily detected by their squeaky calls. Even smaller than its close relative the White-breasted Nuthatch, it’s no wonder that this… Read More »

  • Tufted Titmouse

    The active and agile Tufted Titmouse is easily recognized by its jaunty crest of gray feathers, big black eyes, and rust-colored flanks. This familiar bird feeder visitor often joins mixed foraging flocks with other common backyard birds such as the… Read More »

  • Not Just “Our” Birds: Widespread Songbirds of the U.S. and Canada … and Beyond!

    Many birders and naturalists know that scores of bird species in the U.S. and Canada aren’t really “our birds,” in the sense that they are migratory and don’t live here year-round. In fact, many of “our” birds, including most warblers… Read More »

  • Native Birds and Plants: More than Footnotes in the Landscape

    In the northeastern United States, where I farm and write, our native oak trees support 534 species of moths and butterflies. Hundreds more rely on Black Cherry, willow, birch, and poplar trees. Of our flowers, Asclepias (milkweed) supports the charismatic… Read More »