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Bird Identification

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Melanerpes carolinus L 9 ¼" (24cm)

Photo by Maslowski Wildlife Productions.

play the song/call of the red-bellied woodpecker

Named for its least obvious field mark, a faint blush of red on the belly that is rarely seen, the red-bellied woodpecker is the largest common woodpecker of the eastern United States. It can be found in almost any wooded area, including suburban neighborhoods and parks. It is immediately recognized by the black-and-white zebra barring on the back and the red cowl, which is limited to the back of the head in females. Tolerant of humans, it is a regular visitor to feeders, favoring sunflower seed, suet, and fruit. Highly vocal, the most common call is a loud, rolling churr, less sharp than that of the similar red-headed woodpecker. They also make softer kek notes in short series, similar to the call of a flicker. Red-bellied woodpeckers have slowly extended their range north in the past fifty years and are now found to extreme southern Canada.

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