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Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Melanerpes carolinus

The red-bellied woodpecker is a year round resident and the most abundant woodpecker in Northern Virginia. Males have a red forehead, crown, and nape. Females have red only on the nape. The “red belly” is actually just a reddish patch on the lower abdomen.

Look for red-bellied woodpeckers hopping along branches or tree trunks, pausing to forage for insects, seeds or berries.

Red-bellied woodpeckers prefer to nest in forests, swamps or wooded suburban habitats. They do well in urban areas as well as more remote landscapes.

Photo © Kim Hosen, Whooping Crane Conservancy, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina