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BOB'S BLOG Bird of the Month: red-bellied woodpecker

By Bob Wood
Blogs Slideshow
April 02, 2013 - 1190 comments

Photos of red-bellied woodpecker by Graham Wood

I have had a red-bellied woodpecker visiting my feeders nearly every day.

These woodpeckers have a black and white barred back. This bird is about 50-per-cent larger in length than the often seen downy woodpecker.

The male can be identified as his head is fully red while the female has less red (some above the bill and on the nape of its neck).

Our backyard visitor is a male.  We have yet to see a female.

I have lived all my life until recently in the GTA and my sightings of this species have been pretty rare.

This bird, however, is quite common in many parts of North American particularly in the southeast. It is slowly expanding its range northward in the Great Lakes region and New England over the last century according to National Geographic book Complete Birds of North America, 2006.

Now that we are living on Ontario’s South Coast in Long Point/Port Rowan area, we can expect to hear its unique call more often. In fact, my wife was awakened by its shrill churr on a sunny Easter weekend morning.  

You can find its various calls HERE.


Bob Wood is a housing and poverty advocate and former two-term Burlington City Councillor who is building a bed-and-breakfast with his wife on Lake Erie. 


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