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Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker.  Photo by Jeremiah Zurenda
Jeremiah Zurenda



A robin-sized woodpecker with a black and white striped back. The male woodpecker has a red “cap” extending from the top of the head and down over the back of the neck; the female has a smaller area of red on the back of the neck. Red-bellied woodpeckers are most easily confused with the red-headed woodpecker, which lacks the zebra-striped pattern on its back and has an entirely red head (not just the top and back of the head like the red-bellied woodpecker.


Approximately 9 inches in length. 13-16 inch wingspan.


Red-bellied woodpeckers can be found in nearly all types of forests and woodlands across the state, especially oak woodlands and streamside forests. The occur in most urban and residential neighborhoods that have some mature trees. During winter they are found nearly statewide including the eastern third of the panhandle and all of the main body of the state. This species does not normally migrate; its winter and breeding ranges are the same.

Life History

Red-bellied woodpeckers are usually seen alone or in pairs. They generally forage close to mature trees and feeders on or near trees. At bird feeders, they are attracted to suet, miracle meal, raisins and black-oil sunflower seeds. Away from feeders they eat insects and fruit.

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