Field Guide

Photo credit: Laura Erickson

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Red-bellied Woodpecker

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.

External links

* Red-bellied woodpecker, a bibliographic source
* Cornell University

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Descriptions from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Used under terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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