WatchList Species Account for Nuttall’s Woodpecker
(Picoides nuttalli)

Qualifies for the list as a Declining Yellow List Species


Nuttall's Woodpecker

Photo: Ashok Khosla

Resident primarily in oak woodlands but also in riparian woodlands in the southern part of its range, the Nuttall’s Woodpecker is virtually endemic to California west of deserts and the Sierra divide, with a short extension into the northwest corner of Baja California.


The Nuttall's Woodpecker is usually found in low densities throughout its range; extrapolation of density estimates gives an estimated total population size at 100,000-200,000 individuals.


There are no long-term population trend estimates available for the species, but oak and riparian woodlands are under pressure from urban, suburban and agricultural development. In addition, Sudden Oak Death, a fungal disease, has since its introduction in recent years killed tens of thousands of oak in California. Habitat loss from development is also a significant threat to the species.


Over the short term the increased number of standing dead trees will benefit the bird, but ultimately the disease will degrade and diminish habitat for this and other oak woodland specialists, such as the Oak Titmouse.