Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Better than being yellow bellied!

Our woodpecker is back! I decided to take a picture of him - well to the best of my ability from inside the house, because as soon as I opened the back door he flew away!  I thought he was a red-headed woodpecker, but he is really a red-bellied woodpecker. Two different woodpeckers!

apparently he's a thief....

Yes - this is the guy that wakes my up early in the morning pecking on my house. sigh. So pretty, so annoying!

Here is a summary from the Audubon Society:
Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus )

Bird Gallery Index

© Alan Murphy

Family: (Picidae) Woodpeckers

Preferred Habitat: Moist woodlands and wooded suburbs.

Seasonal Occurrence: Common in all seasons.

Notes: Red-bellied Woodpeckers may be found wherever mature trees are to be found. Their loud churrrr is a familiar sound in our suburbs. 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. Starlings, which often take over their cavities, are a major problem. The Houston Bird Survey has more information and a distribution map.
- Susan Billetdeaux


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