Gaston's White River Resort Nature Trails

Redheaded Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)


Nature Trails Gaston's White River Resort

Manford's Gallery Of Photos
&
Rose Maschek's Gallery Of Photos


A Five Paw Rated Site


Redheaded Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)


Click On Any Photo For A Larger View

Redheaded Woodpecker

Redheaded Woodpecker

Redheaded Woodpecker

Redheaded Woodpecker

Redheaded Woodpecker

Redheaded Woodpecker

Redheaded Woodpecker

Redheaded Woodpecker

Rose Maschek's Gallery Of Photos
Redheaded Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus)

Redheaded Woodpecker

Redheaded Woodpecker

Redheaded Woodpecker

Redheaded Woodpecker

Redheaded Woodpecker

Redheaded Woodpecker

Cool facts

The migration of Red-headed Woodpeckers appears to depend on the availability of winter foods, especially acorns and beech nuts. During most years, birds from the northern parts of the breeding range move southward in winter. They are somewhat gregarious outside of the breeding season, and large flocks, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, may be seen in passage.

Unlike other woodpeckers, Red-headed Woodpeckers rarely excavate holes to find insects. Instead, they employ a wide variety of foraging techniques and eat a wide variety of foods. They will often sally out from a perch after flying insects in the manner of flycatchers, or they will drop to the ground to capture prey they spotted while perched. Animal prey ranges from beetles, ants, and grasshoppers to mice, eggs, and young birds. Red-headed Woodpeckers have been known to expand the openings of hole-nesting birdsí nest sites to get at the nestlings. Over the course of a year, about half of their diet consists of vegetable food. Their fondness for cultivated fruit and corn may make them a nuisance in some areas. Winter staples of acorns and beechnuts are gathered and stored in crevices, cracks, and other naturally occurring holes. Unlike their food-caching relative, the Acorn Woodpecker (M. formicivorus), they do not make their own holes for storing food. In some cases, they seal their caches with chips of wood or twigs. Large insects such as grasshoppers and June beetles may also be stored for short periods of time.

Description
Adult Red-headed Woodpeckers are unique and unmistakable, with a red head, neck and throat, black tail, black wings with large white patches at the secondaries, along with a white rump and underparts. Juveniles look similar but have streaked dusky brown backs, wings, and tails; streaked dusky brown heads; and some barring in the white wing patch. This plumage lasts through the summer and into the fall. The molt into the adult plumage begins in September with the head and back beginning to show adult coloring and lasts through the winter. 



Copyright Jim Gaston & Rose Maschek 02.2006