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Old 11-05-2010, 11:06 PM   #1
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woodpecker Red Bellied Woodpecker

Red Bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)
Photos taken near out woodpile in mid September.

Red Bellied Woodpecker-dsc_0013.jpg Red Bellied Woodpecker-dsc_0015.jpg Red Bellied Woodpecker-dsc_0021.jpg Red Bellied Woodpecker-dsc_0032.jpg Red Bellied Woodpecker-dsc_0035.jpg

Now that the black bears are hibernating, I can put my suet feeders back out for the woodpeckers that overwinter here.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:48 AM   #2
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Red Bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) Photos taken near out woodpile in mid September.
We see these frequently in the winter here, but I've sometimes wondered why they're called 'red-bellied' when most of the red is on their head - to distinguish fro the 'other' red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)? I would suggest calling the latter a 'red-necked woodpecker,' but then people might think it was strictly southern in distribution...
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Old 11-06-2010, 12:12 PM   #3
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I think of them as the "red-mohawked" woodpecker, but that isn't politically correct either! Notice its name includes the epithet "carolinus" - it is a "red-neck"!

I don't have nice photos of mine, but I have a family of red-bellies who live in my woods who successfully raised at least one juvenile this year. I saw both parents with one juvenile a bunch of times at my deck rail feeder late summer/early fall, although I haven't seen them together recently. The juvenile's crest in grey rather than red; I don't know how long before it turns color.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:29 PM   #4
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We see these frequently in the winter here, but I've sometimes wondered why they're called 'red-bellied' when most of the red is on their head - to distinguish fro the 'other' red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)? I would suggest calling the latter a 'red-necked woodpecker,' but then people might think it was strictly southern in distribution...
Hehehehe! It always confused me, too. I did see a male once on my suet feeder and saw his red belly feathers!

Here are a couple pictures from All About Birds. It says the red patch on the belly is often concealed by surrounding feathers...
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Red Bellied Woodpecker-red_bellied_woodpecker_male.jpg   Red Bellied Woodpecker-red_bellied_woodpecker_male2.jpg  
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:44 PM   #5
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He's adorable, Becky!
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:46 PM   #6
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...I've sometimes wondered why they're called 'red-bellied'... I would suggest calling the latter a 'red-necked woodpecker,' but then people might think it was strictly southern in distribution...
I was thinking the same thing (about the belly, not the neck).

LOL! Thanks for the laugh! Hee-HAW!
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:15 PM   #7
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Ahhh so they DO have red bellies after all!
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:29 PM   #8
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Great photos of the red tummy Bridget1964.

Thanks for the extra information about the Red Bellied Woodpecker everyone. This species is very common in our woodlands, so it's nice to know more about them.
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Old 11-06-2010, 11:38 PM   #9
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Somewhere in one of Peterson's books, he mentions it was named by someone examining a tray full of preserved specimens, where the red belly was more obvious, but I can't remember if he was just guessing or not. There are about two dozen woodpeckers in that genus (Melanerpes)
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bellied, bird, birds, carolinus, coloring, feathers, melanerpes, melanerpes carolinus, red, red bellied, red bellied woodpecker, red feathers, suet, suet feeder, wisconsin, woodpecker, woodpeckers

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