Although the red-bellied woodpecker is notorious for caching food, backyard wildlife watchers rarely see this fascinating behavior. However, if you would like to watch a red-bellied woodpecker in the act of storing food, there is no better time to do so than right now.
The reason for this is, in spite of the fact that the woodpecker caches food throughout the entire year, it does so more often during the fall. With that in mind, during the next several weeks, whenever you see a red-bellied woodpecker carrying something in its bill, follow its flight. If the bird happens to land, see if it tries to shove the item into a tree crack or crevice (the bird will even stash food in wood posts and buildings), more than likely you have witnessed caching. The list of items stored by this woodpecker includes acorns, nuts, seeds, fruits, fruit pulp, kernels of corn, suet, peanut butter, whole peanuts, and even insects.
It has been reported that a captive red-bellied woodpecker even cached toothpicks and nails.
For some reason, unlike many birds that cache food, the red-bellied woodpecker rarely vigorously defends its stored its food treasures from would-be robbers.
If you happen to witness a red-bellied woodpecker caching food, please let me know.