Red-headed Woodpecker


(Melanerpes erythrocephalus)

Although most adult male North American woodpeckers show at least some red on the head, the Red-headed Woodpecker is the only one with a head that is entirely red.

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2 Responses to Red-headed Woodpecker

  1. audrey kish says:

    i have a brown and white woodpecker at my suet feeder…it looks like a downy woodpecker mostly white with brown and tan markings like a downy but not the correct colors…could it be a form of albino? I’ve seen it before over the last year or two and just saw it this year for the first at the suet feeder. I live in Bethlehem tshp PA and wish I could identify it! HELPPPPP…

    • john says:

      Let’s first assume you have positively ID’d the bird as a Downy by its white markings, stubby bill, and diminutive size. There a few Downy Woodpecker images on the web that do appear brownish, and I have taken some photos of Red-cockaded Woodpecker that also appear brownish, so it’s not impossible you could have a somewhat brownish Downy. The only true brown woodpecker in North America is the Arizona Woodpecker. A picture would be great if you can get one.

      Your bird is certainly not an albino. All albino animals are entirely snow white with red eyes. Many bird species can show some varying degrees of leucisism, with some white feathers where they are not usually found, but such individuals do not have red eyes and, even if completely white, are not true albinos.

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