Welcome to my Bird Blog!

Welcome to all my fellow bird lovers and gardeners! I'm so glad you stopped by.

Migratory bird populations have taken a nose dive in the past 40 years. But you can help bring their numbers back by creating beneficial, beautiful and fun habitats in your own backyard. Discover favorite plants and environments that shelter and feed colorful songbirds, as well as how to make them feel welcome by offering their preferred natural foods.

Grandma Pearl
(Connie Smith)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

The Red-Bellied Woodpeckers are very active at the feeders right now.  Every time I put some day-old bread out, they are there with bells on! 

This is a photo of one of the male Red-Bellied Woodpeckers that frequent my woods.  You can't miss their 'kwirr, kwirr' call as they swoop in for sunflower seeds.  All the other birds scatter in the wake of this impressive and handsome 9 1/2" bird.  

I see them year round because I feed them year round.  In the wintertime I hang suet cakes and peanut butter log feeders for them to enjoy.

Female Red-Bellied Woodpecker
by Grandma Pearl
This is a photo I took just recently that clearly shows the 'zebra' back of the Red-Bellied Woodpecker.  That young white birch tree is one of their favorites, as you can see from all the tiny 'seed' holes in the bark.  It's not far from the feeders.

Red-Bellied Woodpeckers, as well as Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers, use these holes when they eat sunflower seeds.  They wedge the seed in and bang it into tiny edible pieces.

Female Red-Bellied Woodpecker clinging to White Birch tree
by Grandma Pearl
You can tell the difference between male and female, or juvenile, Red-Bellied Woodpeckers by looking at the top of their heads.  If the head is red on top, it is a male.  This is an adult female red-bellied woodpecker with no red on the top of her head.
A juvenile would have a brown head with no red on the top.
Once in a while I catch sight of the rosey blush on the stomach of these wonderful birds.

Woodpecker tree where Red-Bellied Woodpeckers excavate and fill food storage holes.
by Grandma Pearl

Red-Bellied Woodpeckers make rows of holes in which to store their seeds, nuts and wild fruits.
'Zebrabacks' as they are also known, are found more commonly in the south, but have expanded their range to include Michigan, New York and parts of New England.  I'm grateful for that, not only for their beauty but for their voracious appetite for beetles, caterpillars, ants and grasshoppers!

 Short Video of Red-Bellied Woodpecker excavating a nest cavity; and vocalizing.

Female Red-Bellied Woodpecker in her favorite tree.
by Grandma Pearl

More Red-Bellied Woodpecker Pics. . .

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