Red-bellied Woodpecker – Male probing for foodMelanerpes carolinus
December – Texas
L=9.25” ...... WS=16” ....... WT=2.2 oz
Order: Piciformes (Woodpeckers and Allies)
Family: Picidae (Woodpeckers and Allies)
Red-bellied Woodpeckers are a common and familiar bird in the Eastern U.S. They seldom excavate wood for insects but, rather, forage for arthropods, seeds, berries and small fruit. Also, they will visit bird feeders. While foraging this bird may perch upright, hang upside-down or hover briefly.
The Red-bellied Woodpecker has a particularly long tongue, even for a woodpecker, that aids in capturing prey without excavating. Additionally, its tongue is highly modified being cylindrical, pointed, and with a barbed sticky tip to aid in extracting food from crevices.