This easy step by step painting guide will help kids of all ages create a beautiful nature-themed painting inspired by the Pileated Woodpecker. The colours remind us of wintertime. The distinguishing feature on the Pileated Woodpecker is the bright red crest. We wanted the red crest to stand out so we created birch trees as the landscape to create a black and white background, with red being the only colour. We hope this easily helps kids recognize the distinguishing feature of the woodpecker, making them a skilled birdwatcher.

Female and male Pileated Woodpeckers look very similar, they both have a red crest and black body with white stripes on the face and down the neck. The only markings that differ from male to female is that the male woodpeckers have a red stripe on their cheek, while the females have a black stripe on their cheek. Paint a male woodpecker or paint a female woodpecker or paint both!

Male Pileated Woodpecker, Acorns and Aprons 2020

Female and male Pileated Woodpeckers


1. black and white acrylic paint or washable children’s paint

2. a white canvas or white watercolour paper 3. Paint brushes - medium and small

4. a container of water and paper towel or towel to clean the brushes between colours

5. a lid or palette to put the paint onto

Paint brush: use a small paint brush for the fine details like the bird and a medium one for the birch trees.

Step by step guide to painting the trees and woodpecker:

—due to the amount of images uploaded these images are low quality and therefore have a slight discolouration—

Here’s a step by step demo by Charlotte age 6:

The Pileated woodpecker is often seen in the forest and in your backyard. We recently saw one in our backyard pecking at some leftover grapes on our grapevine. Woodpeckers mainly eat insects, and especially love carpenter ants. They find them in the trees with their long beak and use their long tongue to eat them up. They will also eat grapes and other fruit and nuts like acorns. keep an eye on your grapevine, you might find a woodpecker visitor.

Female Pileated Woodpecker

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