black-backed woodpecker


: a three-toed woodpecker (Picoides arcticus) native to forests of the northern U.S. and Canada that is black above and white below with dark barring on the flanks, a white facial stripe, and in the male a yellow crown
Then we spot it: a black-backed woodpecker, going about its business of dismantling the bark from a dead lodgepole pine, oblivious to the humans watching from below.Terry Richard, Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), 23 May 2010
On another trail we found two black-backed woodpeckers quietly pecking at the bases of conifers.Gerry Rising, Buffalo News, 20 Feb. 2005

Word History

First Known Use

1828, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of black-backed woodpecker was in 1828

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Dictionary Entries Near black-backed woodpecker

Cite this Entry

“Black-backed woodpecker.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!