Winter Birds: the Red-bellied Woodpecker

I’ve been playing cat-and-mouse with a Red-bellied Woodpecker for weeks. Its feeding behavior is best described as a covert operation, designed to thwart any attempt at a quality image. Feeder visits are unpredictable, brief, and likely to be terminated by the least little disturbance.

Red-bellied Woodpecker with suet from a bird feeder (3 images); the busy background in these photos is snow-covered spruce trees; 2/5/2015:


Historically a southeastern species, the breeding range of this woodland woodpecker has expanded greatly over the last hundred years. It now covers most of eastern U.S. — and New York state.



Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.

5 thoughts on “Winter Birds: the Red-bellied Woodpecker

    • Thanks Kathy. I like everything about this bird and it’s my favorite “backyard” woodpecker. The Pileated is a serious competitor for my attention, but it’s a much greater challenge… heard one this afternoon within camera distance but it wouldn’t cooperate!

  1. Wow! what a handsome bird. The flight photo is good, and even more importantly it shows that little dash of red on its belly—thus the name “red-bellied woodpecker.” It took me a couple of years of looking at that bird to ever see that spot of red—I kept thinking the bird was named incorrectly…then I saw the “red-belly”……

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