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    Red-bellied Woodpecker

    ID Info
    Silhouette WoodpeckersWoodpeckers

    Red-bellied Woodpecker

    Melanerpes carolinus
    • ORDER: Piciformes
    • FAMILY: Picidae
    Basic Description

    Red-bellied Woodpeckers are pale, medium-sized woodpeckers common in forests of the East. Their strikingly barred backs and gleaming red caps make them an unforgettable sight – just resist the temptation to call them Red-headed Woodpeckers, a somewhat rarer species that's mostly black on the back with big white wing patches. Learn the Red-bellied's rolling call and you’ll notice these birds everywhere.

    More ID Info
    image of range map for Red-bellied WoodpeckerRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

    Find This Bird

    Keep an eye out for this species in eastern woodlands all year round, particularly at middle heights and along main branches and trunks of trees. It pays to learn the bird’s calls, too: Red-bellied Woodpeckers are loud and call frequently during spring and summer.

    Other Names
    • Carpintero de Carolina (Spanish)
    • Pic à ventre roux (French)

    Backyard Tips

    Red-bellied Woodpeckers bring bright colors and entertaining action to bird feeders. If you live near any wooded patches, you may be able to attract them using feeders filled with suet (in winter), peanuts, and sometimes sunflower seeds. They’ve even been spotted drinking nectar from hummingbird feeders. Dead trees may encourage the birds to forage naturally or even nest in your yard, and they may feed on berry trees such as hawthorn or mountain-ash in fall or winter. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

    • Cool Facts