Lewis’s Woodpecker – Melanerpes Lewis – LEWO
10-11 inches in length – 20-21 inch wingspan –
Named after Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis & Clark Expedition
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Description: A medium-sized woodpecker, the Lewis’s is a dark species of open woodlands. The primary color is a black to glossy green on the back, wings, crown, nape, and throat. The breast is a solid light grey, the belly a pink-to-red, and the forehead a pink-to-red color. The dagger-like bill and classic zygodactyl feet are grey in color. Wings are broad and rounded.
Flight: It’s slow, even wingbeats produce a flight pattern more like that of a crow than a woodpecker.
Vocalizations: A rapid series of high “chirrups” or “chee-ups”; a squeaking/chattering sound.
Habitat: Found in open woodlands of mainly oak and pine. Most often found out in the open, rather than disappearing into dense forest growth.
Foraging Habits: Unlike a typical woodpecker when foraging. Though it is capable of and will bore into trees in search of food, it prefers flycatching, foraging on nuts and berries, and will even store food over the winter months.
Diet: (found on WhatBird.com)
Forages on: acorns, ants, crickets, grasshoppers, berries, pine nuts, juniper berries, cherries, and apricots.
Will ready eat: suet, sunflower seed, nuts, sugar water, and fruit.
The female lays 4-9 plain white eggs in a cavity nest excavated mainly by the male out of wood chips and bits of bark. The eggs are incubated by both the male and female for 12-14 days. The young woodpeckers fledge 4-5 weeks later.