The Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) is a Robin-sized woodpecker that is barred black and white above and pale buff below. Like most woodpeckers, the “zebra-back” is visible. Sexes are similar except that male has a red crown and nape, and the female has red nape only. A red patch on the lower abdomen is seldom visible in the field.
Consuming vast numbers of wood-boring beetles as well as grasshoppers, ants, and other insect pests, the red-bellied woodpecker also feeds on acorns, beechnuts, and wild fruits.
The common woodpecker is found over much of the South while the red-bellied is scarcer farther north but has expanded its breeding range in recent years to New York and Southern New England.