Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Red bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied woodpeker goes to work at Eastern Neck Island.

The Red-Bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinas) is a small member of the Woodpecker family very similar in appearance to a Sapsucker.

This photo was taken from some distance and in mid-peck, but I’m going with Red-bellied for a few reasons. The red coloring is on the back portion of the head – the crown – and does not cover the full face and neck. There is no black markings or mask visible on the face and the bird has horizontal stripes on the its back and wings. These features should help you distinguish the Red-Bellied from other woodpeckers and relations like crowned, Red-headed, the Downy Woodpecker, the Hairy Woodpecker or any sapsuckers.

The above photos was taken at Eastern Neck Island National Refuge, where a majority of my bird and woodpecker shots will come from. Eastern Neck has some great trails that run through woods and high groupings of trees that become very accomodating for birds looking to hide, even in the winter months when leaves are scarce.

The Red-Bellied can be found year round in Maryland.

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