Lewis’s Woodpecker

photo by Phil Swanson

Melanerpes lewis
L 10 3/4″ (27 cm).

Song or calls:
Generally silent,but will give a low churring note.

Description: Sexes similar. Metallic greenish-black above; gray collar and breast; pinkish-red belly; and a dark red face. In flight, its dark color, large size, and slow steady wingbeats give it a crow-like appearance. Juveniles lack red face and gray collar; have a brown head and breast; and underparts may be only slightly pink.

Behavior: Does not peck at wood for food, instead it catches flying insects.

Bird Map
Habitat: Found in the edges of pine forests, and in streamside cottonwood groves with considerable snags.

Where in Nebraska: Vagrant during fall, winter, and spring and possible summer resident in the Pine Ridge area. Perhaps extirpated as a breeder.

Nebraska Seasons: Vagrant during fall, winter, and spring and possible summer resident in the Pine Ridge area. Perhaps extirpated as a breeder.

Fun Facts: Named after Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition.