A Red-headed Woodpecker storing acorns for the winter in Marquette County, WI. Photographs taken October 13, 2013.
Binomial name: Melanerpes erythrocephalus
Category: Woodpeckers and Allies
Description: Red head with black back and white underparts. The wings are black with white wingtips. Adult males and females have identical plumage (sexually monomorphic).
Size: 7.5″- 9.8″ long, 16.7” wingspan
Weight: 2.0 oz. – 3.4 oz.
Habitat: Deciduous and coniferous forests, orchards, swamps, wetlands, and farmland
Diet: Insects, fruits, berries, nuts, and seeds
Nesting: Nests are built by both partners in cavities of dead trees or utility poles. The males do most of the cavity excavation. Females lay 3 to 10 eggs at one time, up to two broods per season. The first brood is laid in May and incubated for 2 weeks, and hatchlings remain in the nest for 24 to 31 days. Red-headed Woodpeckers often reuse the same nesting cavity year after year.
Notes: The Red-headed Woodpecker stores food, only one of four species in North American known to do so. It may hide nuts, seeds, and insects. In fact, Red-headed Woodpeckers awesome store grasshoppers still alive, stuck in tight crevices or covered with bark. The Red-headed Woodpecker was also featured on a stamp from the United States Postal Service in 1996 and from 1999 – 2006.
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