Photo of Northern flicker in bird bath by Pam Smith
By Carrie Threadgill, Wildlife Biologist, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Alabama has a rich diversity of bird species across the state, including eight species of woodpeckers. The loud knocking you hear in the woods sometimes? It is the sound of a woodpecker’s strong bill drumming on a tree. These unique birds drill holes in trees looking for insects and other food, which they can extract with their long, sticky tongues. They will excavate cavities in trees for nesting and roosting. They also drum on trees to communicate with other woodpeckers. Several species found in Alabama are often difficult to identify because of their similarities to other woodpeckers. Let’s take a look at them one by one.