Guest Author - Lisa Shea
The Red Bellied Woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus, is a very shy bird, coming occasionally to suet feeders if it feels safe. It is a large, solitary bird, about the size of a flicker, a bit smaller than a blue jay.
Amusingly, the thing that stands out about this bird is not a red belly at all, but the stripe of read down its head. The male has a full stripe from nose to wings. The female has red on the back of her head only - not on the forehead. On both the breast is white, and the wings are striped black and white. The male has a specked rump while the female's wings are just striped all the way down.
Note that the breast is a solid white - flickers are the birds with spots on their breasts.
The juvenal birds have a brown head instead of the red.
Red-bellies have a gentle call, kwirrrr, or can do a chew-chew call. They live from New England and the Great Lakes down through the gulf states. They enjoy woods and orchards.
Female Red Bellied Woodpecker Photos
Male Red Bellied Woodpecker Photos and Videos
photos by Lisa Shea