Red-Bellied WoodpeckerFebruary 2005


The red-bellied woodpecker is the largest of the three woodpeckers that come to our suet feeder (aside from the odd visit by the pileated woodpecker), by Cooper's Pond, in State College. (The other two are the downy and hairy woodpeckers, and the suet feeder is 5 inches tall, as a frame of reference. Incidentally, the pileated woodpecker would make all three types seem like dwarves.)

The red-bellied woodpecker has a red back of neck and the male, in addition, a red cap. The belly of both sexes is somewhere between white and a faint "blush" red. Whether male or female, the red belly prefers to hold onto the tree to peck away at the suet.

Red-bellied woodpecker by our suet feeder
  The following is almost the same view except one can see the continuous red of the male as well as his toe pattern.
Red-bellied woodpecker, back turned
In the game land one day, I photographed a sequence of a male red belly picking and eating berries. This one was the final shot: He had flown away from the berries to enjoy this last one.  
Red-bellied woodpecker with berry
  Please go to the next page for a comparison between female, male, and immature red-bellied woodpeckers.

Photo note: I used a Pentax *istD, with the SMC-A* 300mm lens for first two shots and the SMC 400-600 reflex lens for the last one.

My Pennsylvania bird list

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