Red-bellied Woodpecker

Species Profile: Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker, Melanerpes carolinus

Learn more about this species in the Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers of North America.

Introduction to the species

“Sometimes a pair (of Red-bellied Woodpeckers) will take possession of a cavity already completed by some other Woodpecker, and while such action may involve a moral question, it at least indicates a disposition to conserve physical effort which by many is to-day rated high among the vital resources of our country.
-Burroughs 1936

Extremely adaptable and opportunistic, the Red-bellied Woodpecker has undergone a remarkable range expansion in the early twenty-first century. Perhaps the greatest example of its adaptability is the fact that it was the only woodpecker species successfully bred in captivity by twentieth-century virologist, naturalist, and woodpecker behaviorist Lawrence Kilham.

Gallery of photos of the Red-bellied Woodpecker by Steve Shunk

Return to List of Species of North American Woodpeckers page.

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