Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Friday, February 02, 2007

Don't Call Me Red-headed

Red bellied woodpecker at suet feeder
When the Red-bellied woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) comes to the suet feeder, the other birds leave in respect. The banging is heard all through the house as the Red-bellied pecks at the frozen suet.

About 10 inches long, the Red-bellied is the largest woodpecker that nests in our trees.

According to the Audubon Society's annual bird census figures, the Red-bellies are increasing in SW Michigan. We've happily noted the increase in our neighborhood.

Red headed woodpecker
This picture (swiped, not taken by me) is a Red-headed woodpecker ((Melanerpes erythrocephalus).

Frequently casual bird observers will call the Red-bellied woodpecker a Red-headed woodpecker because the Red-bellied has a partially red head. Since Red-headed woodpeckers are deep woods birds and rarely seen in our yard, I get jealous when I hear someone has spotted one. So, if you spot a Red-bellied please get the name right and spare me the sin of envy.

Red belly on the red bellied woodpecker
Mr. Redbelly fully seconds the motion that you not call him a Red-headed woodpecker.

He knew I was taking pictures and twisted around to flaunt his red belly at the camera so you can see how he earned his name.

Female red-bellied woodpecker at suet feeder
This is Mrs. Redbelly.

She's a little shorter than the male and has a gray cap on the top of her head in place of his continuous red.

No comments: