Melanerpes carolinus Photo Fiona Sunquist ©
The red-bellied woodpecker is rather misleadingly named -- the conspicuous red color is not on this bird’s belly, but rather on its head and neck. Males have a striking red forehead, cap and nape, while females have a red nape. Both sexes have bold black and white bars on the back.
Red-bellied woodpeckers pick at bark rather than drilling for insects. They eat seeds, insects, and fruit and often feed on oranges in Florida’s orange groves. Red-bellies are regular visitors to bird feeders where they aggressively chase off other birds.
Red-bellied woodpeckers are notorious for drumming on metal and wood siding around houses. When trying to attract a mate they will tap on anything that resonates, including metal gutters, TV antennas, and even cars.
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