Contortionistic Red-bellied Woodpecker

If you live in South Florida take an afternoon sometime to drive out to the Chekika Area of Everglades National Park.  It is located on the East side of the park and is open from December through April.  There is a little park area with a boardwalk and a couple small trails to check out. One winds around a small alligator hole where you will definitely some gators and the other snakes through a hardwood hammock. There is a picnic area and usually a friendly park ranger around. The park is a great place to get away from the city and become one with nature for a while, but I have found that the best place for birds is the narrow road leading up to the park entrance that runs parallel to a small canal.  It was there that I found this active little Red-bellied Woodpecker.

If you thought this was called a Red-headed Woodpecker, then like me you were wrong.  The actual Red-headed variety is much less common than the Red-bellied.  Its head is completely red, not just the crown.

Here you can see the red coloring on the belly, which is where the Red-bellied variety gets its name.

Here he shows of his bright red crown and the distinctive black and white striping on his back. 

Displaying expert contortion skills.

The Red-bellied woodpecker actually spends more time picking at and digging into the bark of a tree than it does drilling into it.

Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus)


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