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Lewis Woodpecker

Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Melanerpes
Species: lewis

Gr. pikos woodpecker
La. picus woodpecker
Gr. Circe, mythological
    daughter of Helios, changed
    Picus, son of Saturn, into a
La. forma form, shape, kind
Gr. melas black
Gr. herpes a creeper
La. lewis for Meriwether Lewis

Lewis Woodpecker, Allan Brooks, Birds of Canada, 1934
Upper parts, wings and tail green black with bronze luster. Dark crimson face. Narrow distinct collar around back of neck. Bluish gray breast. Pink underside. Resembles a Crow in flight.

Inhabits coniferous and mixed forests, groves and scattered trees throughout west of the Great Plains to the Pacific, north to Alberta and British Columbia, east to the Black Hills of South Dakota and the Colorado Plains, south to Arizona and New Mexico. It was identified by the Lewis and Clark Expedition near Helena, Montana.

USGS Lewis Woodpecker Map

Excavates tree cavities often in coniferous trees as much as two feet deep between chest high and extreme heights.

Lays six to eight, more or less, white eggs which hatch after about two weeks incubation and young leave the nest in about another four weeks.

Eats fruit, nuts and insects.

The Lewis' Woodpecker nest box (same as for the Flicker, Pigmy Owl, Saw-Whet Owl, and Grackle) has a 7" by 7" floor, 16" inside ceiling, 2 1/2" diameter entrance hole located 14" above the floor and ventilation openings.

A hinged roof is secured with shutter hooks.  Assembled with screws.

Lewis Woodpecker, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Food of the Woodpeckers of the United States, F.E.L. Beal, 1912
Mount 12 feet or higher on a tree in forest edge, or grove. Because they commonly nest in natural or abandon cavities, or excavate their own cavities, place wood chips in the nest box.

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