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Red-bellied Woodpecker

Melanerpes carolinus


Adults are mainly light gray on the face and underparts; they have black and white barred patterns on their back, wings and tail. Adult males have a red head going from the bill to the nape; females have a red patch on the nape and another above the bill. The reddish tinge on the belly that gives the bird its name is difficult to see in field identification. They are 9 to 10.5 inches long, and have a wingspan of 15 to 18 inches.


Red-headed woodpeckers generally live in larger wood lots, and in older mature forests. They need older larger trees so they can bore a hole in which they build their nest.


This bird, finds its way to my wooded yard on a regular basis looking for bugs under the bark of many of the trees in my yard. It will also come to suet feeders set up, in the late fall, winter and early spring. A pair build a nest in one of my very old shag bark hickory trees this year. They generally have been using ash trees, which are a much softer wood then hickory. PattyC this photo and spotting are dedicated to you. I hope this photo helps to explain why this bird was named the red-bellied woodpecker. Many photos of this bird do not show the red belly well.

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williefromwi 9 years ago

Thanks CarolSnowMilne, and PapoBestard for your comments

PapoBestard 9 years ago


CarolSnowMilne 9 years ago

Adorable photo. Every time I take a photo of my red-bellied at the bird feeder it looks evil. HA! Keep up the good work.

williefromwi 9 years ago

Thank you FrancisQuintana, and SatyenMehta for your wonderful comments.

Wild Things
Wild Things 9 years ago


williefromwi 9 years ago

Thank you so much Sonia.

Sonia Daponte
Sonia Daponte 9 years ago

amazing picture !

williefromwi 9 years ago

Thank you Nuwan, I enjoy watching and spotting woodpeckers as well.

NuwanChathuranga 9 years ago

Awesome!! i love woodpeckers..

williefromwi 9 years ago

Your very welcome PattyC. I knew I had a photo showing the red belly that I could put up on this sight. I am glad you are now better able to see the red belly from which it takes its name.

patty 9 years ago

Thank you very much willie! Great picture angle, and the reddish spot can easily be seen =)

williefromwi 9 years ago

Thank you alicelongmartin, I posted this because someone could not see the red belly of my other posting. Because I made this spotting a few weeks before the one I posted, I put this up as a separate spotting, which it was.

alicelongmartin 9 years ago

Lovely picture.

williefromwi 9 years ago

Small wonders, I still have suet out in two suet feeders, and I get downy and nuthatches, and these coming to the suet even now.

Small Wonders
Small Wonders 9 years ago

Great photo! I have one of these that is currently monopolizing 6 out of 10 bird feeders ;)

Spotted by

Wisconsin, USA

Spotted on Apr 2, 2012
Submitted on May 18, 2012

Spotted for Mission

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