Nuttall’s Woodpecker

Credit: Becky Matsubari

Nuttall’s Woodpeckers are small black-and-white woodpeckers with stripes across their back and spots and stripes down their sides. Their bellies are white, and males have a red patch on their heads. Both males and females have white stripes across their faces.

Unusually for woodpeckers, they balance by fluttering their wings instead of resting on their tails.

  • Length: 6.3-7.1 in (16-18 cm)
  • Weight: 1.1-1.6 oz (30-45 g)
  • Wingspan: 13.0-16.1 in (33-41 cm)


Nuttall’s Woodpeckers mostly live in California, with a few birds in Northern Baja California and Southern Oregon.  

Habitat And Diet

They can be found hunting for insects hidden in branches of trees. Oak woodlands near streams are your best chance to see them.


They make their own nests every year in dead trunks by chipping away at the wood to create a hole.