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Lewis’s Woodpecker

Melanerpes lewis

With only one or two thousand Lewis Woodpeckers in BC, consider yourself lucky if you see one. Fortunately, they are found around Lillooet! They prefer open, mature Ponderosa Pine forests, so, if you have those, you have a chance of seeing a Lewis. You won’t mistake a sighting of this woodpecker. It’s dark green back, pink breast, red face and grey collar make it unmistakable. Unlike most woodpeckers, that drum bark looking for insects, these birds mainly catch insects on the fly.

Where it lives


The Lewis Woodpecker winters as far south as Mexico, returning to BC in the spring. It seeks old growth forests, preferring the Ponderosa Pine/grassland zone.

conservation concern


Lewis’s Woodpeckers are BLUE-LISTED in British Columbia, meaning they are at risk, mainly from habitat loss, due to logging and agriculture as well as urban sprawl in some parts of the Province. Wildfire suppression also limits snags appropriate for breeding. 


Sources
  • The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
  • Birds of Canada
  • Hoar
  • DeSmet
  • Campbell and Kennedy
  • BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer

What you can do

Support groups such as the Nature Conservancy of Canada, who work hard to develop strategies to help protect species at risk. Learn more about the NCC and the Lewis’s Woodpecker here .

Become an Expert

To learn more, click here, and here .

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