Here are ten fascinating facts you may not have known about the red-bellied woodpecker:
►The male red-bellied woodpecker displays red on both its nape and crown. In comparison, the female red-bellied woodpecker has red on its nape but not its crown.
►Don’t be concerned if you don’t see the red on a red-bellied woodpecker’s belly as it is difficult to spot in the field. The red coloration found on the belly looks like nothing more than a light wash of red.
►In Georgia, red-bellied woodpeckers do not migrate and the males maintain their territory from spring through winter.
►While it is true that most male and female red-bellied woodpeckers excavate their nesting cavities, the male does most of the work.
►Most of the birds’ nesting cavities are excavated less than 50 feet from the ground in a dead tree; however, some nests are located as much as 120 feet high.
►In Georgia, this woodpecker may raise two to three broods a year.
►Male and female red-bellied woodpeckers share incubation duties although the male typically incubates the eggs at night as well as during periods throughout the day.
►Although red-belied woodpeckers primarily eat insects and other invertebrates, they have also been known to devour small birds, fish, frogs, and bird eggs.
►This common woodpecker has the reputation of eating more fruits and berries than other woodpeckers. Many of the fruits and berries they consume are gleaned from the following plants: grape, apple, blackberry, pokeberry, strawberry, mulberry, cherry, dogwood, poison ivy, waxmyrtle, elderberry, blackgum, blueberry, and palmetto.
►At feeders, red-bellied woodpeckers are most fond of black oil sunflower seeds and suet; however, they will devour a variety of other food offerings including cheese, cracked pecans, and raisins.