Three-toed Woodpecker

Picoides tridactylus

Three-toed Woodpecker


Like most other woodpeckers, three-toed woodpeckers are white and black.  Unlike most woodpeckers the males of this group have a bright yellow stripe on the top of their heads.

Range & Habitat

They are mostly found in old-growth forests where dead standing trees, called ‘snags’, are found. In Canada they are found from the northern reaches of B.C. and far into the US.

Diet & Behaviour

True to their name the woodpeckers peck at wood to get to the delicious insects that live under the bark of various trees. They have two common calls, a short call that sounds like ‘pert’ and a second that sounds like a drum roll that slowly gets faster.

Lifecycle & Threats

Woodpeckers make their homes in dead standing trees called ‘snags’.  In the spring they lay four to five white eggs. After two weeks the small chicks are born. Due to the fact that these woodpeckers need snags to survive their main threats are related to human disturbances in old growth forests (logging and urban development).


COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

More Information


Photo Sergey Yeliseev