Red-bellied Woodpecker

Melanerpes carolinus

Order

PICIFORMES

Family

Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Code 4

RBWO

Code 6

MELCAR

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Red-bellied Woodpecker has a large range, estimated globally at 3,000,000 square kilometers. Native to North America and the Bahamas, this bird prefers forest, savanna, and wetland ecosystems, though it can reside on plantations or in rural and urban areas. The global population of this bird is estimated at 10,000,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Red-bellied Woodpecker is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Red-bellied Woodpecker: Medium woodpecker, black-and-white barred upperparts, pale gray-brown underparts with indistinct red wash on belly. Head has bright red crown and nape, pale brown face. White rump, white wing patches, and white-barred central tail feathers are visible in flight.


Range and Habitat

Red-bellied Woodpecker: Breeds from North Dakota, Great Lakes, and southern New England south to the Gulf Coast and Florida. Year-round resident from the plains states to the Atlantic coast. Northernmost birds sometimes migrate south for winter. Inhabits open and swampy woodlands; comes into parks during migration and to feeders in winter.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"churr-churr", "querr-querr", "chuck-chuck-chuck"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Red-bellied Woodpeckers are attracted to noises that resonate. The male will tap loudly on metal gutters, aluminum roofs and even vehicles to attract a mate.
  • The European Starling will often evict the Red-bellied Woodpecker from its nest.
  • The male has a wider tongue tip and longer bill than the female, allowing him to reach deeper into crevices to find prey. Studies have shown the male forages on the tree trunk, while the female forages mostly on limbs.
  • A group of woodpeckers has many collective nouns, including a "descent", "drumming", and "gatling" of woodpeckers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Red-bellied Woodpecker

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Samira Belous

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X