Natural History

Natural History

Status: Critically Endangered

Distribution: In pre-colonial times, Ivory-billed Woodpeckers had an expansive and varied range, from the southern tip of Florida to central Ohio, and westward to St. Louis. As populations decreased, their range became concentrated in the southeastern United States, from eastern Texas to Florida. Read an in-depth discussion of the Ivorybill range and habitat.

Habitat: Ivory-billed Woodpeckers favor forested areas with large trees. Read more about the species’ habitat and how it changed over time.

Diet: Ivorybills are bark foragers; they strip bark from trees in order to extract beetle larvae. They have been observed eating fruits and nuts. Their bark stripping, or scaling, is unique and considered a diagnostic feature. Read an in-depth discussion on bark scaling.

Breeding: Ivorybills are cavity nesters, nesting in excavations on dead trees, or in dead portions of living trees. Both males and females excavate the nest cavity. Clutch size varies from 1 to 5 eggs.

Field Marks: The largest woodpecker species north of Mexico, Ivorybills have heavy, pale bills that are distinctive. Males have a red crest, with a black body showing white lines down the back and white panels in the folded wings. Females show similar markings, but have a black crest.

Sounds: Ivorybills have a distinctive “kent” call. Rather than drumming like most woodpeckers, Ivorybills have a “double knock” pattern.

In The News

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Pet Events: National Aviary offers holiday gift ideas | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The National Aviary is promoting its always alluring bird-themed items in the gift shops as the perfect holiday gifts.

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National Aviary’s New Garden Room Kicks Off with Brunch | Pittsburgh Magazine

Enjoy brunch in The Garden Room, the National Aviary's new event space!

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New & Notable: The Garden Room | North Hills Monthly

The National Aviary recently celebrated the completion of The Garden Room, a new 9,000 sq. ft. event space that opens up to offer access to a beautiful patio and garden.

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New Garden Room at National Aviary opens with bird-safe glass | Construction Magazine

The new venue offers sweeping views of Allegheny Commons Park and the historic Rose Garden.

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