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Red-bellied woodpecker

Melanerpes carolinus

Description:

Stocky woodpecker; its back and wings are barred black and white with a white rump. The face and underparts are grayish with a barely discernible reddish patch on its belly. The male has a bright red hood and nape. The female has only a red nape and a grayish head. The Juvenal has the same zebra like coloration with a brown head and no red coloration. The red-bellied woodpecker is a noisy bird with many varied sounds. They tap or drum on wood or metal surfaces to attract mates. These woodpeckers are omnivores, eating insects, fruits, nuts and seeds. They search for arthropods on tree trunks and can catch insects in flight. Most of them nest in decayed cavities of dead trees or in tress with softer wood that they can dig out a nesting cavity like elms, willows or maples. They mark the nesting area with drilling holes to warn others away.

Habitat:

Common in open or disturbed woodlands, groves and orchards, suburban and residential areas.

Notes:

These three woodpeckers appeared to be playing tag, but it might have been two males trying to get the attention of the female.

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Karen Hileman
Spotted by
Karen Hileman

Orchid, Florida, USA

Spotted on Aug 18, 2012
Submitted on Aug 19, 2012

Spotted for Mission

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