Woodpeckers of Columbia County, Oregon

Most woodpeckers prefer to use dead decaying snags for nesting sites as well as for hunting insects. Unfortunately, the ubiquitous logging across Columbia County and especially the loss of older forests and dead trees has kept their numbers lower than they would be otherwise.

Downy Woodpecker – Our smallest woodpecker. Note the slender bill and subtle black spotting on the outer tail feathers. Only males have red patch. (photo © Richard Griffin)
Hairy Woodpecker – Larger with a larger bill and pure white outer tailfeathers. Only males have red patch. Prefers deeper forest than the Downy Woodpecker. (photo © Karolle Wall)
Acorn Woodpecker – Almost never seen in Columbia County due to the loss of most of the oak woodlands it needs. Labeled a Sensitive Species by ODFW. (photo © David Batchlor)
Pileated Woodpecker – Our unmistakable largest woodpecker, it prefers older forest as it requires large dead snags to nest in. (photo © Patricia)
Red-breasted Sapsucker – Our only common sapsucker and the only one with red on its chest. It prefers dead or decaying trees for its nests. (photo © Jon Hakim)
northern flicker columbia county oregon
Northern Flicker – Our most common and adaptable woodpecker, it is often seen flying through residential areas with its unique wingbeat. (photo © Ashley Christensen)
Lewis’s Woodpecker – Loss of ponderosa in mountains and riparian woodlands in lowlands has led to Sensitive-Critical status. Now almost never seen here. (photo © Noah Strycker)

The Red-naped Sapsucker and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker are other woodpecker species which are very rarely seen within the county.

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