Red-bellied Woodpeckers are cavity nesters. The male excavates a new cavity in a dead tree or sometimes a live tree. From 4 to 6 eggs are
incubated by both the male and female. The male incubates at night, the female during the day. Chicks hatch in about 12 days, and fledge in
22-27 days. Both parents care for the young.
The Bird Banding Lab web site reports that between 1955 and 1997, a total of 15,903 Red-bellied Woodpeckers were banded. Of these, 449 have been recovered, a recovery rate of 2.8 %.
Banding studies show that Red-bellied Woodpeckers are short distance migrants, and can live more than 20 years in the wild, a very long life
for a landbird.
If you should recover a banded bird, please report the band number to the Bird Banding Lab by calling 1-800-327-BAND.
Red-bellied Woodpeckers are doing well. Since WW II, their range has expanded into the northeastern USA. They do well in suburban areas. No
doubt, the increase in suburbs and the popularity of backyard bird feeding has favored this species. European Starlings, however, are
significant competitors for nest sites.
Their preference for insects and insect larvae provide a valuable natural control for insect pests. They also cache food for the winter,
especially acorns, nuts, seeds and occasionally insects.
Pyle, P. 1997. Identification Guide to North American Birds. Part 1. Slate Creek Press, Bolinas, CA. 732 Pp.
Winkler, H., D. A. Christie, and D. Nurney. 1995. Woodpeckers. An identification guide to the woodpeckers of the world. Houghton Mifflin
Co., NY. 406 Pp.
Back to Top | Back to Bird
All images are courtesy of CWBO. All image copyrights are owned by CWBO.
Any use of these images must have permission of CWBO.