Range. - United States, east of the Rockies, except New England; north to northern Canada; winters in southern United States.
This beautiful species has a bright red head, neck and breast, glossy blue black back, wings and tail, and white underparts, rump and secondaries. It is the most abundant of the family in the greater portion of its range, where it nests in any kind of trees or in telegraph poles at any height from the ground; they also sometimes nest in holes under the eaves of buildings. They are the most pugnacious of the Woodpeckers, and are often seen chasing one another or driving away some other bird. They are also known to destroy the nests and eggs of many species, and also to kill and devour the young, they being the only Woodpecker, so far as known, to have acquired this disreputable habit; they also feed upon, besides ants and larvae, many kinds of fruit and berries. Their nesting season is during May and June, when they lay from four to eight white eggs, with less gloss than those of the Flicker. Size 1.00 x .75.