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Red-bellied Woodpeckers are about 9 inches long, pale, medium-sized woodpeckers with a round head, barred back and striking red cap. In the male the red cap extends to the beak; in the female, the red cap does not extend to the beak. Red-bellied Woodpeckers, similar to other woodpeckers, have a characteristic undulating flight pattern. The Red-bellied Woodpecker has white patches near the wingtips. Red-bellied Woodpeckers hitch along branches and trunks of medium to large trees, picking at the bark surface more often than drilling into it.
Red-bellied Woodpeckers are common in many woodlands and forests of the eastern United States. These include old stands of oak and hickory to young hardwoods and pines. They will also often venture from forests to appear at backyard feeders.