Bird Species of the World's Boreal Forests


Picoides tridactylus
Northern Three-toed Woodpecker


Distinguishing Features - Medium-sized black and white woodpecker; length: average 19 cm. Colouration: head, black; narrow postocular stripe widens towards rear of head and extends down neck; white moustachial stripe; white throat, breast, and belly; white flanks with black barring; white back barred with black; black wings marked with white spots on flight feathers; rump, black; tail, black with white outer tail feathers that are barred inwardly with black. Adult male: yellow cap at top of head with fuzzy edges.

Northern Three-toed Woodpecker Habitat

Breeds in North America, from northern Alaska, across Canada's boreal regions, through northern Saskatchewan, to north-central Labrador and Newfoundland. In Eurasia, south of tree line in Scandinavia and Siberia. Prefers coniferous forest and burntlands; less frequently mixed forest. Cavity nests generally placed in dead tree, usually conifer or aspen; sometimes nests in utility poles.


Primarily wood-boring insects.

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