Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) – Woodpecker Week pt 5

English: Red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes ery...

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– Scientific Classification –

The Red-headed Woodpecker is an uncommon bird that lives in open woodlands. They are a fairly social bird and may form loose groups. Juvenile birds have a plain brown head, dark bars on the white portions of their wings (the secondaries) and a whitish underbelly. The species is not sexually dimorphic, so both the male and female display a bright red head and no longer have black bars on the secondaries. Red-headed Woodpeckers can be very  territorial and even destroy the nests of other birds. The species is listed as near threatened.

Fun Fact: The Red-headed Woodpecker is one of four woodpeckers known to store food. They may even wedge live grasshoppers into crevices so that they cannot escape.

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Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) – Woodpecker Week pt 3

A male Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes caro...

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:: So I failed pretty hard on Woodpecker week. To compensate, I’ll close out this week with woodpeckers! ::

 

– Scientific Classification –

Red-bellied Woodpeckers are common to mature deciduous forests. They have an almost zebra-like bar pattern on their backs and a reddish-brown belly (despite the name). The red coloration of their nape is a far more conspicuous. They are about the same size as a Hairy Woodpecker. Red-bellies are more likely to pick at the bark of trees rather than drilling into it like other woodpeckers. These birds are known to take over the cavity nests of other birds (such as the Red-cockaded Woodpecker) but may have nests stolen themselves but European Starlings.

FUN FACT: “A Red-bellied Woodpecker can stick out its tongue nearly 2 inches past the end of its beak.”

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