Our Daily Visitor: The Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied woodpeckers live year-round in our part of the Southeastern U.S., but we haven’t seen many in past years.  In the past few weeks, however, we’ve seen them daily at the bird feeder.

Red-bellied woodpecker facts:

  • These birds sometimes wedge large nuts into bark crevices, then whack them into manageable pieces using their beaks. They also use cracks in trees and fence posts to store food for later in the year.
  • They may occasionally be seen flying quickly and erratically through the forest, abruptly changing direction, alighting for an instant and immediately taking off again, keeping up a quick chatter of calls. Scientists categorize this odd behavior as a type of play that probably helps young birds practice the evasive action they may one day need.
  • A Red-bellied Woodpecker can stick out its tongue nearly 2 inches past the end of its beak. The tip is barbed and the bird’s spit is sticky, making it easier to snatch prey from deep crevices.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    Nice shots — a male, I presume. Our red-bellies favored a decrepit silver maple next door; when the owner finally put an end to the tree, they moved far enough that we don’t see them with any regularity anymore.

    But we do have a downy woodpecker family still coming by.

    My photos can’t rival yours!


    1. Thank you! I love to watch the woodpeckers. We have several different kinds, but the red-bellied have been at the feeder the most lately.


  2. These little guys are so cute. I don’t see them much, but I hear them. They only annoy me when they start pecking on the house (and it’s covered in vinyl siding)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I know! I hear them, too, pecking on metal mailboxes in the neighborhood! Thank you for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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