Red Bellied Woodpecker
Many customers ask me why this bird is called a Red-bellied Woodpecker when its belly is white. Even though it’s hard to see, there is a light wash of orange-red feathers on its lower belly… it is hard to see though. The Red-Bellied has a black and white striped ladder back, and a red mark on its head. The red marking on the male goes from his bill to his crown, whereas the female has a grey forecrown with the red marking only the back of her head.
Their range extends from Texas and Eastern US Coast up to Southern Ontario and Quebec. Over the last few years they have been expanding further north. I have had the pleasure of observing a pair of Red-Bellied Woodpeckers in my back yard for the last two years. They visit at my peanut and suet feeders year round.
They are a dominant woodpecker and will chase the Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers away from feeders. These birds do enjoy a very wide variety of seeds including sunflower, cracked corn, peanut halves, white millet and oranges. You can use a suet cage to put orange halves in, or an oriole orange feeder. Wedging orange halves in the forks of trees would also work.
Red- Bellied Woodpeckers prefer to nest in pine trees 10 to 30 feet above the ground. They will also use a nest box, but natural cavities are preferred. They are attracted to sounds that resonate, so to attract a mate they will tap on aluminum gutters, metal roofs, and even cars.
Even though they are an aggressive woodpecker, they can become used to people and feel comfortable feeding while you’re working in the yard. By offering some of their favorite seeds and fruit, you will be able to enjoy them too.
Red Bellied Woodpecker Call & Drum..
@Urban Nature Store we have a different variety of feeders, seeds, jewelry, outdoor equipment and holiday gifts for all nature lovers and for all ages.
Bird of the week – Red Bellied Woodpecker – check out downy products
Author – Jane Paradis
Editor – Daniel Oommen