Melanerpes carolinus

A common, 9 1/4 inch bird, native to Virginia all year round.

Males have black and white checkered back with a white rump. The breast is tan with a faint red spot on the belly. They have bright red crown from the top of beak, to nape of the neck.

Females are the same as males except they have a grey crown. The red stripe is only from the back of the head to the nape of the neck.

Juveniles are the similar to females but have no red stripe at all.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers eat insects, nuts, fruit and occasionally seed. They get their name because of the faint red on their belly although it is very hard to see. They are common to back yard feeders.