Knock, knock, what kind of woodpecker am I?

Published 12:23 pm Friday, March 10, 2023

LOYD STAR — A rattle of a wood peckers beak plays percussion to a chorus of songbirds in the early spring mornings. Did you know of the 400 birds which live in Mississippi, there are nine species of wood peckers.

One of the wood peckers is thought to be extinct. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has been unsuccessful in identifying any individuals or populations of ivory billed woodpeckers. Ivory billed woodpeckers were last spotted in Louisiana in 1944 and Mississippi had a few unconfirmed sightings in the 1980s. One wood pecker is commonly misidentified as the ivory billed woodpecker, the pileated woodpecker which is captured in this video.

Pielated wood peckers are the biggest woodpecker you will find in Mississippi with a wingspan of 28 inches and a length of 18 inches. Settlers would refer to it as the Lord God bird because of what they exclaimed when they saw it, MississippiEncylopedia.Org writes.

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“it was so large that when people saw it, they exclaimed, ‘Lord God, what a woodpecker!’ This designation was also applied to the similar but slightly larger ivory-billed woodpecker,” Mississippi Encyclopedia states.

Woodpeckers like to create roosts and nests in cavities of trees which are either dying or already dead. They also like to drill for insects and other food sources in those trees, fallen rotten logs and in the leaves.

Here are the other woodpeckers found in the state:

  • Red-cockaded woodpeckers
  • Red-bellied woodpeckers
  • Downy woodpeckers
  • Hairy woodpeckers
  • Red-headed woodpeckers
  • Northern flicker
  • Yellow-bellied sapsucker

Right now is a great time to get out in the woods and listen for a wide variety of birds. Barred owls, wild turkeys, wood ducks, woodpeckers, wrens, cardinals, titmouse, chickadees, robins, thrushes and phoebes are all out there singing.