Photo taken by Ric McArthur

There are bully birds that chase others away from feeders and birdbaths – Grackles and Blue Jays are repeat offenders – but there aren’t many that will take on a Red-bellied Woodpecker. His long, pointed bill makes him a master at fending off other birds.

This spring has been a great year for woodpeckers in general around Rondeau – especially the Red-bellied who has been seen at numerous feeders and backyards around the park!

You may occasionally see a Red-bellied Woodpecker flying quickly and erratically through the forest, abruptly changing directions, alighting for an instant and then immediately take off again – all while keeping up a quick chatter of calls. It’s thought that this is a type of play that probably helps young birds practice the evasive actions that they may one day need (Cornell Lab of Ornithology).

– Ric McArthur

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