About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus
Order: Piciformes Family: Woodpeckers (Picidae)


The Red-bellied woodpecker is often confused with the Red-headed woodpecker because they both have red on the head and the Red-bellied Woodpecker really doesn’t have a red belly – just a pale rosy tint. The rest of this medium-sized woodpecker has a black and white barred pattern on its back and wings, with white to pale grey across the breast and along the sides.

One of the most common woodpeckers, it is found all along the eastern half of the United States.

This woodpecker is unusual in that it will sample any food it finds. It eats seeds, fruit, acorns, insects and loves suet when it’s available.

In the fall and winter it will store its food in the barks of trees to pull out and eat later.

Special cells on the end of their bills are constantly replaced because of the repeated pounding.

They are important to many other bird species because they drill new nest holes each year and leave the old cavities for birds like swallows, owls, bluebirds, and a huge array of small birds like wrens and chickadees to use.

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