Pet Information > Birds > Bird Article > Red-Bellied Woodpecker General Markings and Characteristics

Red-Bellied Woodpecker General Markings and Characteristics

25 16:39:12

Red-bellied Woodpeckers have a distinct style of their own. They sometimes are thought of as pests. This is because they like to pick at and make holes in just about anything. They think they can find food under most wood. Tree bark or wooden house side board looks to them like a place to make a nice nest. This does include trees, logs, posts, houses and wooden overhangs. Your wooden structure might be a target. They are very beautiful birds with bold black-and-white striped backs and flashing red caps and napes. Most of the time, they can be found in the smaller trees and branches of the eastern forests and woodlands.

With your binoculars take some time and look for general markings and characteristics, things that you notice right off. Do not spend a lot of time trying to memorize different aspects of the Red-bellied Woodpecker's. Just look for general information and then you will be able to quickly recognize what group these birds belong to by noticing size, general shape, colors and their behavior.

I suggest that you keep a note book of these characteristics. You can add to it from time to time. This will help you understand and learn. But be patient and note things only one at a time. Otherwise you may get tired and discouraged because you can't remember everything at once. It will all come in time as you watch these birds. Also take a look at the field marks such as a wingbar and eyering markings to tie some IDs down.

Please remember also to note what time of year you see them as well as other kinds of birds you see in your neighborhood. Then you will be able to keep track of them better next year when the return.

A good field book on birds will help, but do not try to memorize everything in it all at once. Just learn about your specific bird of interest.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Size & Shape

A sleek with a well rounded-head, without the blocky outlines of Hairy Woodpecker


Color Pattern

Pale overall underbelly, and a boldly black-and-white striped back, with flashing red cap and nape


Hitches along branches and trunks of medium to large trees, picking at bark more often than drilling into it


Eastern woodlands and forests

Birding is a great sport, especially watching Red-bellied Woodpeckers. Their antics and activities will keep you busy for hours. With some enjoyable work in preparation by learning a few basics about them and with a good pair of bird watching binoculars you can have many hours of pleasure with your family or by yourself.

Roger Johnson