Looks like we’ll have a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers nesting in a cavity of an old white maple in the back of our yard. I saw them swoop that way this morning and there are lots of hollow places in that old tree from which to choose a nesting site.
Many people confuse the Red-bellied Woodpecker with the less common Red-headed Woodpeckers. Red-bellied Woodpeckers do have red heads, but not solid red like a Red-headed Woodpecker.
These colorful Red-bellies have been visiting my sunflower heart feeder for several months, now. They also like to poke into the suet feeders from time to time. Their natural diet consists of insects, nuts and various fruits.
Red-bellied Woodpeckers are common in Virginia woodlands, from old stands of oak and hickory to young hardwoods and pines.
Look for Red-bellied Woodpeckers hitching along branches and trunks of medium to large trees, picking at the bark surface more often than drilling into it. Thy are quite fond of ants.
Like most woodpeckers, these birds have a characteristic undulating flight pattern and they are quite vocal. They sound to me like tree frogs, or maybe it’s vice versa.
The males have a red crown extending down their necks. Females have a gray crown. They have one brood per year with 4 to 5 eggs. Here’s hoping the soon-to-be little ones in my back yard will prosper.