Bird Families



Dryobates is a genus of woodpeckers in the family Picidae. It consists of the following varieties:

  • Woodpecker Dryobates nuttalliNuttola
  • Fluffywoodpecker Dryobates pubescens
  • Supported by a ladderwoodpecker Dryobates scalaris
  • Lesser spotted woodpeckerDryobates negligible
  • Woodpecker Dryobates cathpharius with scarlet chest
  • Woodpecker Dryobates pernyiiwith dark red breasts


  • Bill: Straight, strong, black, slightly longer in males
  • The size: 7.25 inches long with a wingspan of 11-12 inches, wide wings, stiff tail
  • Colors: Black, White, Buff, Gray, Red
  • MarkingsDimorphic appearance. Males have a bright white face with horizontal black stripes. The forehead and nape are black and may be striped, and the crown is bright red, but may appear grainy to the front. Throat buff. The upper part and wings are black and white, and the croup is black. The central tail feathers are black and the outer tail feathers are white with black stripes. The lower body ranges from lush to whitish, with blurred spots and veins, especially on the chest and sides. The underside is covered with whitish gray stripes. Females are similar to males but have a black crown and a whiter face. Both sexes have dark eyes and gray-black legs and feet.
    Young birds are similar to adult birds. Both young sexes have red streaks in the crown, although the overall red color is less than that of mature males.

Products: Insects, larvae, berries, fruits, nectar (See: Insectivores)

Habitat and migration:

These little woodpeckers prefer relatively dry habitats and are found along streams and coastal areas in desert areas. They are often found in areas with small plants or shrubs, and they are also common in cities and suburbs.

Ladder woodpeckers are year-round inhabitants of their range. They are found in southern Nevada and southeastern California, southern Arizona and New Mexico, and western Texas. In the south, the range of this bird extends across all of Mexico to the south to the Yucatan Peninsula. Smaller populations are found in Central America in the south to Belize, Honduras and Nicaragua.


These birds have a single sharp "peak" or "peak" callsign, as well as a sharp, rattling, rattling call, which at the end slightly decreases in height. A typical drum beat is loud and fast, lasting 1-2 seconds with each burst.


These woodpeckers are usually solitary or in pairs, although small family groups may remain together in late summer as the young birds mature. When searching for food, females often stay above the foliage, while males stay lower and may even hunt ants on the ground. These woodpeckers do not usually dig while feeding, but pick, pick, tap, or probe to find insects. Their flight is the undulating path of a wave, and when agitated, the men will raise their crown feathers into a short crest.


They are monogamous birds. As hollow nests, they dig suitable nests either on a dead tree or on a branch, or in a large cactus or succulent like saguaro or agave. Nest entrances are usually 3-30 feet above the ground, and males do most of the excavation, although females help.

Simple white eggs are oval or elliptical in shape, and each brood contains 2-7 eggs. Both parents carry out incubation duties for 12-13 days, and after hatching, both parents continue to feed the chicks for 20-25 days. Only one brood is reared each year.

Ladder-supported woodpeckers sometimes hybridize with Nuttall woodpeckers or hairy woodpeckers in areas where the species' ranges overlap. Such hybridization can make correct identification difficult as labeling becomes unclear.

Attracting woodpeckers with a ladder:

These woodpeckers willingly visit yards with a reliable water source that attracts their attention, such as a bird fountain. They will also visit the lard, peanut butter and sunflower seed feeders. Minimizing insecticides can help provide an adequate natural food source for these woodpeckers, and berry bushes can be good winter food options. By allowing native cacti to grow to a large size, woodpeckers with crossed ladders can be attracted. Dead trees should be left if possible to provide additional nesting and foraging opportunities.


These woodpeckers are not considered endangered. Their population is generally stable, although some Texas populations are slowly declining due to habitat loss. Preserving habitat and minimizing pesticide use can help protect woodpeckers on stairs.