Skip to Main Content
Lewis's Woodpecker: Melanerpes lewisAuthor(s): Bret W. Tobalske; Kerri T. Vierling; Victoria A. Saab
Source: In: Poole, A., ed. The Birds of North America Online. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. doi: 10.2173/bna.284.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
Download Publication (214 KB)
DescriptionDuring the historic Lewis and Clark expedition, Meriwether Lewis wrote on 20 July 1805, "I saw a black woodpecker (or crow) today it is a distinct species of woodpecker; it has a long tail and flys a good deal like the jay bird" (sic, Thwaites 1905). Subsequent observations of flight and vocalization reminded him of the Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) he knew from his home in Virginia. A few years later the ornithologist Alexander Wilson, working with skins that Lewis and Clark's expedition had provided, described this species in his American Ornithology and named it Lewis's Woodpecker in honor of his fellow naturalist (Snow 1941, Farrand 1992, Mearns and Mearns 1992).
- You may send email to email@example.com to request a hard copy of this publication.
- (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
- We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
- This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
CitationTobalske, Bret W.; Vierling, Kerri T.; Saab, Victoria A. 2013. Lewis's Woodpecker: Melanerpes lewis. In: Poole, A., ed. The Birds of North America Online. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, Cornell Lab of Ornithology. doi: 10.2173/bna.284.
KeywordsLewis's Woodpecker: Melanerpes lewis, breeding birds, distribution, migration, habitat, food habits, sounds, behavior, breeding
- Lewis's Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis): A technical conservation assessment
- Nest-site selection and nest survival of Lewis's woodpecker in aspen riparian woodlands
- Quantification of Lewis's Woodpecker habitat using Forest Inventory and Analysis data
XML: View XML