Courting Time: Red-bellied Woodpecker

With spring in swing, all of nature is in the mood for courting. This coquettish female red-bellied woodpecker poses in a redbud tree. She must seem very fetching to her mate, with her red eye and the peachy blush on her face.

Red-bellied woodpeckers nest in a hole they’ve dug in a tree. They prefer to excavate a nest hole in the snag that remains when a tree has died, or in a dead limb of a live tree. The next year, the woodpeckers start over with a new nest hole, and a pair of bluebirds or other birds will inherit the old one. Good reason to leave dead trees standing wherever it’s feasible to do so! (© 2012 Diane Porter)

For birding tips, bird stories, and more, visit Diane Porter’s website: