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Red Bellied vs Red Headed Woodpecker

Finally snapped a photo of this beautiful woodpecker. I always thought they were called Red Headed woodpeckers until I did further research. Red bellied Woodpeckers are common in many Eastern woodlands and forests, from old stands of oak and hickory to young hardwoods and pines. They will also often venture from forests to appear at backyard feeders.

The Red bellied woodpecker is so common, vocal, and eye-catching that it might be elected “most familiar woodpecker” in a vote of bird watchers in the eastern United States. Although occasionally misidentified as a red-headed woodpecker because of the male red belly’s bill-to-nape stripe of bright red, the red-bellied woodpecker actually is quite different in appearance and much more common than the real red-headed woodpecker, which sports an all red head. 

The gorgeous Red headed Woodpecker is so boldly patterned it’s been called a “flying checkerboard,” with an entirely crimson head, a snow-white body, and half white, half inky black wings.

Now I know what I have been seeing all of these years is called a Red Bellied Woodpecker. Nature has so much to offer. The learning never stops.

Red Bellied Photo ©CarolDm2018; Red Headed Photo Courtesy of allaboutbirds.com

  • Question of

    Have you seen a Red Bellied Woodpecker?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Question of

    Did you know there is a Red Headed Woodpecker as well?

    • Yes
    • No

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Written by Carol DM

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