Red-bellied Woodpecker Nest
By: Pat Coate
Biking along the Alleghany River Trail, I heard persistent chatter of hungry young birds. When I investigated, I found this nest cavity of a red-bellied woodpecker. Both parents were busy bringing food to the nest, though I only got pictures of the male. The female was a bit more wary, but neither seemed particularly bothered my presence and I enjoyed the constant foraging and delivery of food for over 20 minutes. The young bird popped its head out once very briefly. I only saw one young one, but there may have been more – sure seemed like a lot of noise for one baby bird.
One way to tell the male from the female is that the female does not have red on its forehead.
I first saw this species in Florida, and now see it regularly in WNY. I am not sure if I am just noticing them more, or if they are expanding a bit in our area.
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