Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Red-bellied Woodpeckers

Red-bellied Woodpeckers may be found wherever mature trees are to be found. Their loud churrrr, churrr  is a familiar sound in our suburbs or the forest. Beginning birders are often confused by its name, since the red patch on its lower abdomen is difficult to see. Others confuse it with the Ladder-backed Woodpecker which is not found in our area. The female resembles the male but has less red on the top of her head. Red-bellies eat acorns, insects, and fruit, and are also known to store food. They willingly come to feeders for sunflower seed or suet. Red-bellies like to mark their territory by noisy drums on trees and are not at all reluctant to use house siding. They rely on tall soft trees such as pines to excavate their nest cavities. There was an active nest about 25' from the Tree-Top Loft in May 2008.

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