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Bird Songs and Sounds
Bird calls and sounds can be a great way to identify if certain birds are nearby or what activities they may be up to. Click the icon to hear some audio clips of the red-bellied woodpecker.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Melanerpes carolinus

Species Spotlight
The red-bellied woodpecker is a non-migratory species that winters throughout its entire range. For those woodpeckers that reside in western PA, winter can mean a scarcity of food. To help this spotlight species you can offer feed in late fall to early spring. Providing a reliable food source when natural sources can be scarce can increase survivability over the colder months. 

Habitat
Common in woodlands, groves, orchards, towns. Most common in deciduous forests, especially along rivers and in swamps. It is also found in mixed coniferous and deciduous forest, less often in pure stands of pine. May be found in rather open areas, such as forest edges and clearings, groves of trees in farm country. Prefers shade trees in suburbs.

Wild Feeding Behavior
Omnivorous, eating mostly insects, but its diet sometimes includes up to 50% plant material when it is plentiful. This includes seeds, fruit, and acorns/wild nuts. However, they will eat pretty much anything they can get their beaks on and are known to indulge in tree sap, small eggs, tree frogs, and even small fish. May store nuts and seeds collected during fall in tree hollows for winter.

Nesting Habits
Nest in cavities with the females and males scouting for potential nesting sites in dead wood, or carving out their own with their specialized beaks. Sites will usually be less than 50' above ground but can be as high as 120'. The nesting holes may be completely excavated by the pair or a natural pre-existing cavity, previous woodpecker hole, or nest box.

Eggs and Young
Pairs have 1 brood per year in western PA. Females and Males both incubate the egg. Eggs hatch after about 6 weeks. Young will fledge about 22-27 days after hatching. The parents may still feed their young for up to 6 weeks after they fledge.

Range
Common throughout the eastern half of the US from South Dakota to Texas, east to Florida, and north to Maine and sometimes Canada.

Preferred Feeds
Suet cake, black oil sunflower seed.

Preferred Feeders
Suet cage, large cylinder

Feed and Feeders
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All Seasons - Common


All Seasons - Uncommon


Breeding - Common


Breeding - Uncommon


Winter - Common


Winter - Uncommon

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