Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Melanerpes Carolinus

     The Red-bellied Woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus, is a medium-sized woodpecker. Adults are mainly light grey on the face and underparts; they have black and white barred patterns on their back, wings, and tail. Adult males have a red cap going from the bill to the nape; females have a red patch on the nape and another above the bill. The red belly is difficult to view on a live bird.

     Their breeding habitat is deciduous forests in southern Canada and the eastern United States. They nest in a cavity in a dead tree; the male begins excavation in several locations and the female selects the site.

     They are permanent residents but may change location; some birds may wander north. In extreme weather, northern birds may move south.

     These birds search out insects on tree trunks. They may also catch insects in flight. They are omnivores, eating insects, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

Interesting Red-bellied Woodpecker Facts
     Red-bellied woodpeckers are attracted to noise that resonates. They tap noisily on aluminum roofs, metal guttering and even on cars to attract mates. Their annoying sound can cause dismay to a person who wishes to sleep peacefully at night. It belongs to the Picidae family and has a scientific name of Melanerpes carolinus. 

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For more information from the USGS (United States Geological Survey)
on the 
Red-bellied Woodpecker

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