The Red-bellied Woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus,
is a medium-sized woodpecker.
Adults are mainly light grey on the face and
underparts; they have black and white barred patterns
on their back, wings and tail. Adult males have
a red cap going from the bill to the nape; females
have a red patch on the nape and another above
the bill. The red belly is difficult to view on
a live bird.
Their breeding habitat is deciduous forests in
southern Canada and the eastern United States.
They nest in a cavity in a dead tree; the male
begins excavation in several locations and the
female selects the site.
They are permanent residents but may change location;
some birds may wander north. In extreme weather,
northern birds may move south.
These birds search out insects on tree trunks.
They may also catch insects in flight. They are
omnivores, eating insects, fruits, nuts and seeds.
Interesting Red-bellied Woodpecker Facts
Red-bellied woodpeckers are attracted to noise
that resonate. They tap noisily on aluminum roofs,
metal guttering and even on cars to attract mates.
Their annoying sound can cause dismay to a person
who wishes to sleep peacefully at night. It belongs
to the Picidae family and has a scientific name
of Melanerpes carolinus.
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