theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

December 3, 2012

Randy's natural world

Randy Mitchell Special Correspondent
The Ada News

Ada —  

This week I’m featuring a bird which lives in the area all year round. The red-bellied woodpecker is a somewhat common bird which will visit feeders occasionally. It is a medium-sized woodpecker at about nine-and-a-half inches, slightly larger than its cousins, the red-headed woodpecker and the golden-fronted woodpecker.

The bird was named due to a small patch of red found on the lower belly of both males and females. The male red-bellied woodpecker has a red ‘mohawk’ which extends from just in front of its eyes, over the head to what could be called its shoulders. Both males and females have a red patch just above the beak/nostril area. In the photo to the left, which I took at Wintersmith Park last week, you can see the female has a receding red mohawk which begins just behind the eyes.

Red-bellied woodpeckers prefer woodlands and semi-wooded areas such as suburban and city parks. It eats a variety of insects and spiders, as well as acorns and seeds. As mentioned previously, the red-bellied woodpecker will visit feeders and likes suet feeders. Like nuthatches, the red-bellied woodpecker will often lodge an acorn or nut into the bark of a tree, making them easier to crack open.

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