Red-headed Woodpecker
Melanerpes erythrocephalus


Photo courtesy Pete Williams, Gulf Breeze, Florida
Copyright (c) 2006 Pete Williams

The overall length of this woodpecker is 7 to 10 inches. To identify look for a red head and neck; mostly black and white, with large white wing patches; immature brownish on the head and back. Its preferred habitat is open woods, groves, and swamps with dead trees.

The diet of this bird is varied. It devours beech nuts, acorns, corn, fruits, insects, and the eggs and young of small birds. Like several other woodpeckers, this species has the habit of storing food for future use. Grasshoppers are stuffed into crevices in fence posts, and nuts are packed into knotholes and into cracks in buildings. Where nut trees are abundant and productive, there is a good chance of seeing this woodpecker.