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Red-bellied Woodpecker Visit

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Red-bellied Woodpecker Visit

Postby everchnginggrden » Feb 21, 2009 11:34 am

Took me a few days but I managed to finally take his picture. He drops by but never stays for long. A red-bellied woodpecker. Apparently rare for this area. I'm hoping all the new native trees and plants I put in will encourage him to stay. I haven't seen a mate yet though.

Image

Another

Image

Sharon
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Re: Red-bellied Woodpecker Visit

Postby Sheikea » Feb 21, 2009 11:59 am

What a handsome birdie he is.. :)
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Re: Red-bellied Woodpecker Visit

Postby Eeyore » Feb 21, 2009 8:08 pm

Very nice shots Sharon! What a beauty!
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Re: Red-bellied Woodpecker Visit

Postby everchnginggrden » Feb 21, 2009 11:17 pm

Thanks everyone. I actually had to take the picture through the kitchen window (rain spots and all!) since I knew if I opened the door he'd be gone.

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Re: Red-bellied Woodpecker Visit

Postby earwig » Feb 22, 2009 8:46 am

He is gorgeous, there have been a few spotted around my area which is causing a stir but as yet I have never seen one.

Great capture.
Betty
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Re: Red-bellied Woodpecker Visit

Postby butterfly » Feb 26, 2009 9:57 pm

great pictures

I have never seen one
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Re: Red-bellied Woodpecker Visit

Postby bluebird » Feb 27, 2009 11:51 am

60 Red-bellied Woodpeckers were counted in the last Christmas Bird Count in the area were we used to live in Southern Ontario. While considered a woodpecker of the Southern US, they have successfully expanded their breeding range well into eastern Canada.

What they need is access to mature stands of older growth forests where they can successfully forage for grubs and insects in decaying trees as well as find nesting cavities to raise their young.

You can continue to attract your Red-bellied Woodpecker visitor in over the summer months by offering him shelled peanuts. With luck he'll find a mate and a place nearby to raise a family!

The males are very attentive and caring fathers. At our old place south of here, we enjoyed seeing the juveniles out with the parents each season. One of my most favourite woodpeckers and happily I've already seen one up here this winter at another feeder over near Paisley!

Good luck! If you are in an area considered rare for the Red-bellied Woodpecker, be sure to send in a report to the Ontario Field Ornithologist web site rare bird gallery. Info for reporting can be found here. http://www.ofo.ca/obrc/guidelines.php According to Ontbirds, the Red-bellied Woodpecker is now in breeding range over most of Ontario.

They are not a rare reportable bird here in the Georgian Bay area, but they may well be where you live if only during the winter. Good to share that info.

Dad and jr.
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Re: Red-bellied Woodpecker Visit

Postby Lizcordysmum » Feb 27, 2009 4:46 pm

and I especially enjoyed that second picture, Everchanging...the glisten of the red on his head...just like freshly picked strawberries!!!
Cordy's Mum, Liz
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Re: Red-bellied Woodpecker Visit

Postby everchnginggrden » Feb 27, 2009 10:28 pm

Thanks for all the great info Bluebird. I didn't know they liked peanuts so much and I have had some out all winter so perhaps that helped. I purchased some bird feeders with the wire mesh shaped like cattails but found that the sunflower seeds just fell out all over the ground. The birds still eat them but I enjoy them perched on the feeder so I decided to see if I filled it with blanched shelled peanuts if they would be able to eat them through the holes & sure enough all the birds love them. Now that I know I'll keep them filled all summer. Is there any risk of peanuts going rancid in the sun? Right now they empty the feeders in about a week.

Sharon
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Re: Red-bellied Woodpecker Visit

Postby bluebird » Feb 28, 2009 12:32 am

Hi Sharon, and I am so happy that one of these beauties has found you! I miss seeing them every day at the feeder since we moved. I probably miss them the most of any of our garden birds with the bluebirds a close second.

I always hung the peanut feeder up under the heavy shade of our big old birch tree as yes it would be a concern that hanging them out in the hot sun would not be a good idea. I'd recommend you hang them in shade as well just to be sure.

We also had about six or so Downys and the occasional Hairy Woodpecker coming in and they went through the peanuts (in the tube feeder shown in photo) about once a week so that kept them fresh.

You could monitor how quickly they are used up and just put out a bit at a time. Once your Red-bellied discovers them he'll love them for sure. The female also ate the black oil sunflower seeds, but the male was totally partial to the peanuts. In the top photo that is what he is feeding his jr.

In wintertime, they both enjoyed the suet as well, but of course we don't put out suet in the summer.

Enjoy! :D
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