Saturday, January 5, 2008

Red-Bellied Woodpecker


I've mentioned woodpeckers before and how we can go outside at pretty much any time and listen to their rat-a-tat-tatting. This morning, I didn't even need to leave the house to enjoy one of the species that frequents Our Little Acre.

About 25 feet from the family room window is a maple tree that turns the most gorgeous shade of yellow in the fall. It's leafless right now, but it looked attractive to a Red-Bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus). Romie noticed it first, and we both thought it was a Red-Headed Woodpecker because it had a red head! Logical, right?



Our woodpecker indeed had a read head, but not entirely, as the red-headed does. Apparently, ours also has a spot of red on its lower abdomen, but it's difficult to see. The male has a red stripe down its head and nape of the neck, whereas the female only has it on her neck.

This is one of several woodpeckers common to our part of Ohio, and it feeds on sunflower seeds, suet, and fruit. We'd just filled the feeders on New Year's Eve with sunflower seeds, so we're probably pretty popular with the woodpeckers right now.

It's a vocal bird and not easily scared away by humans. I've heard their call many times and wondered what bird it was making all that noise. Now I know!


7 comments:

Rosehaven Cottage said...

You are so fortunate to have gotten a shot of the woodpecker. I have always tried but have been unsuccessful for one reason or another. I think they are so cool with their vibrant red.

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Mary said...

Kylee, I know what you mean about the red-bellied woodpecker's call. They always announce themselves before they fly in for some suet. I always think to myself, "here he comes..." We have a male, too, but I don't think I've seen the female.

I Love Woodies and your photo is PERFECT! They do have a little bit of red on their bellies.

Meems said...

Not long ago I followed the wonderful call of one of these guys and was excited to discover it was a red-bellied. I hear them many times and don't 'see' them when they are in neighboring oaks or cypress. I don't mind because I enjoy their sound so much. Yours posed nicely for you- he is beautiful.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

kate said...

These are beautiful photographs - most Woodpeckers I see here do not have any red on them. The Woodpeckers know that they'll have a good home at your place!

Ewa said...

Kylee, how did you manage to make so great picture of a woodpecker? hey are so difficult to photograph!
Maple in the garden... what a fortunate you are. I love them: great early and fresh green in the winter and awsome colour in the fall.
Greetings,

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What a handsome bird for your garden. A good picture of him.

Diane said...

Kylee, great photo and very interesting information. That's not a woodpecker we get in our neck of the woods but it sure is handsome. I've taken several photos of our local Downies (Downy Woodpecker) and the Hairies (Hairy Woodpecker). In summer we also get the Yellow Bellied Sapsucker. I'll eventually get around to posting a few of these woodpecker photos so you can see the difference from this beauty in your backyard.

Diane Sand to Glass
Dogs Naturally

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