Woodpeckers (Map Marker E15)

As you stand on the path looking into the woods, keep an eye out for the unique flight pattern of woodpeckers. While there are nine species of woodpecker that make their homes in Wisconsin the most commonly seen at Lapham include the northern flicker, the red-bellied, the downy and the pileated. The largest woodpecker in Wisconsin, the pileated,  can grow to 49 cm (appx. 19 inches) long with a wingspan of up to 75 cm (appx. 30 inches). The holes that these and other woodpeckers carve out for their nests can often be seen in dead or dying trees. These holes are also important for other animals, such as ducks, bats, owls and pine martens who use the abandoned holes for their homes. 

Listen for the sound of woodpeckers drumming. From the deep sound of the pileated to the rat-a-tat-tat of the smaller downy. Sometimes the big sound you hear is traced to a rather tiny bird. The northern flickers can also be heard drumming as they seek insects with their curved bills. Woodpeckers eat mostly insects such as wood-boring beetle larvae, ants, caterpillars and gall wasps but also fruit, nuts, berries, tree sap and even small fish, small bird eggs and tree frogs.