Red-bellied Woodpecker

3.5" x 5.5" (9 x 14 cm)
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Length 9 1/2 inches This is one of the handsomest of our Woodpeckers, and presents a pleasing picture, particularly when seen in the leafless trees of late winter or early spring. It climbs in a curious jerky fashion, and each movement is accompanied by a loud, sucking chuh-chuh which may be heard ringing through the woods for a considerable distance. It is sometimes called the "Zebra Woodpecker" on account of the transverse bars of black and white which cross its back and wings. This species is rather shy and wary, and usually keeps to the heavy woodlands where it industriously searches for the regular woodpecker fare of insects and larvae. It also feeds upon ants and beetles on the ground, as well as upon fruit and acorns. The Red-bellied Woodpecker rarely comes close about our homes, although it may occasionally visit our orchards and lawns particularly if these chance to be in the neighborhood of woodlands. The nest of this species is an excavation, either in a dead or a live tree. From four to six white eggs are laid. Classification: Order Pici. Family Picidae. Scientific name: Centurus carolinus. Range: United States east of the Plains, breeding from the Gulf Coast as far north as Pennsylvania and Minnesota, although it is more common southward

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