A Red-Bellied Woodpecker Sighting!

We had some excitement at our Woodlink bird feeder this morning! School was disrupted for several minutes while the children watched the antics of one of our favorite winter visitors, the red-bellied woodpecker. His large 10 inch body and the flash of red on his head can be clearly seen in the stark landscape of early winter. He has frequented our feeder for the past two years and today was first appearance for this year. Although we’ve tried to spot him at other times of the year, he stays well hidden.

This guy does seem a little shy. He would swoop down and feed until another bird appeared, then he flew off in a flash to the safety of the electric pole. We were able to watch him fly over to the evergreens and could spot his bright head among the branches.

The children decided that he was quite the dapper fellow with his black and white tuxedo on, but still couldn’t figure out why he’s called a red-bellied woodpecker when the red is on his head! A quick look in our Audubon Field Guide informed us that he does have a reddish patch on his lower abdomen but it is very difficult to see in the field. No matter, we all enjoy saying “red-bellied” woodpecker, it just rolls of the tongue!

He’s a welcome guest at our feeders! He’s large enough to quickly spot and identify, even for the younger children, and we enjoy watching his flash of red brightening up our winter days. So welcome Mr. Red-Bellied Woodpecker! Enjoy the food we have left for and make yourself at home!

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