The Red-bellied Woodpecker is a common woodpecker that can be found on the eastern half of the United States as far south as Texas and as far north as Canada. Its habitat is woodlands, forest edges, suburban backyards, parks, and orchards.
This bird is a medium size woodpecker and is from nine to ten and a half inches in length. Their wingspan is from fifteen to eighteen inches.
Males (top photo) have a bright red coloring on the crown of their head and extending down the back of their neck or nape. Females (photo right) have a gray crownfemale red-bellied woodpecker - red bellied woodpecker facts with red only going down the nape of the neck. Both have faded red coloring just above the beak and on their bellies. Their wings have bold black and white stripes.
Red-bellied Woodpeckers are year round residents throughout their range however some of the northern birds may migrate a little more southward during the winter do to lack of food.
Their diet consists of insects, acorns, other types of nuts, berries, fruit, seeds, and will also eat sap from trees, mice, nestlings (baby birds).
They like to hide their food in cracks and crevices of tree bark to be able to eat later.
Red-bellies nest in mature trees, old stumps, and decayed cavities. They drill holes in these to excavate their nest cavities which can be eight to twelve inches deep. Both male and female participate in the excavation of the nest.
Breeding takes place in early spring when you will hear the male making its drumming sound on a tree trunk, branch, or even your wood siding or gutters. The louder their sound the more attractive it is to a female.
The female Red-bellied lays up to five eggs with incubation by both the male and female. Incubation may take up to twelve days.
Nestlings (baby birds) are fed by both parents for up to four weeks until they fledge the nest. Then parents will continue to raise the young for up to six or more weeks afterwards.
I found this female in my backyard, in Polk County, Florida.