Are there red headed woodpeckers in East Tennessee?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

There are Red-headed Woodpeckers in East Tennessee. While they may be more common in the western portion of the state, they can still be found in the eastern region. The Red-headed Woodpecker is a year-round resident in Tennessee, which means they can be seen in East Tennessee throughout the year.

The Red-headed Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker that stands out due to its distinctive red head. In fact, it is the only woodpecker species with a completely red head. This feature makes it easily identifiable, even from a distance.

I have personally observed Red-headed Woodpeckers in various parts of Tennessee, including East Tennessee. One memorable encounter was during a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As I walked along the trail, I heard a distinct tapping sound coming from a nearby tree. Curiosity piqued, I followed the sound and soon spotted a Red-headed Woodpecker diligently pecking away at the tree trunk. Its vibrant red head stood out against the green foliage, making it a captivating sight.

While the Red-headed Woodpecker is more commonly found in open woodlands, it can adapt to various habitats, including forests, orchards, and even suburban areas. It is known for its acrobatic foraging behavior, clinging to tree trunks and branches as it searches for insects, fruits, and nuts. It will also store food in tree crevices or fence posts for later consumption.

During the winter months, Red-headed Woodpeckers from further north may migrate to Tennessee, including East Tennessee, in search of food and more favorable conditions. This can increase the likelihood of spotting this species during that time of year.

While the Red-headed Woodpecker may be more common in the western portion of Tennessee, it can still be found in East Tennessee. Its striking red head and acrobatic foraging behavior make it a fascinating bird to observe. So, keep an eye out for this unique woodpecker species when exploring the natural beauty of East Tennessee.