Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered

previous  | next

Red-bellied Woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus


enlarge +

Red-bellied Woodpecker, male
credit: Ken Thomas

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

All Images

2 articles:

Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Picidae, Woodpeckers view all from this family

Description ADULT MALE Has finely barred black and white back and upper wings, white rump, and mainly pale grayish white underparts with dark chevrons on flanks. Crown, nape and lores are red. ADULT FEMALE Similar, but crown is grayish white with only limited amount of red on loral and supraloral area at base of upper mandible. JUVENILE Resembles adult, but nape is pale grayish orange.

Dimensions Length: 10" (25 cm)

Habitat Common in eastern North America and range seems to be expanding north and west. Found in a wide range of wooded habitats. Mainly resident but some movements among northern birds occur in response to harsh winter weather.

Observation Tips Easy to see within range, and sometimes visits feeders in winter.

Range New England, Great Lakes, Rocky Mountains, Texas, Eastern Canada, Plains, Florida, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Western Canada

Voice Utters a soft, almost disyllabic, but actually slurred, chu-urrr, chu-urr, chu-urrÖ.

Discussion Widespread and familiar ladder-backed woodpecker of woodland, parks, and gardens. Most striking feature is red on head (not on belly). Drums loudly. Sometimes caches food in crevices in bark. Sexes are dissimilar.