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American Three-toed Woodpecker - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Michael W
Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park (West), Montana, USA
Picoides dorsalis


8 1/2" (22 cm).
Back barred black and white. Male has yellow crown; female has solid black crown. A woodpecker with size similar to American Robin.

Similar Species

Similar to Black-backed Woodpecker, but smaller and bill shorter;


Resident in Alaska (except the far north) and east across non-Arctic Canada to extreme northern United States; in the West additionally south to mountains of Arizona and New Mexico.


Smaller and darker than the Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker, with which it has been considered conspecific.

Photo by Michael W
Fish Creek Campground, Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park (West), Montana, USA, August 2005


  • P. d. dorsalis:
  • P. d. fasciatus:
  • P. d. bacatus:


Coniferous and spruce forests particularly where degraded by burning and logging, or swampy.



Four white eggs are laid. The nest is in a tree hole that is beveled on the lower side of the entrance to form a sort of doorstep for the birds.


A soft pik, similar to call of Downy Woodpecker.


  1. Clements, JF. 2008. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2008. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Boreal Birds

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.