Wild Thing Wednesday is having a bash with the red-bellied woodpecker. These loud, colorful, year round residents are often seen and heard on many of the wooded islands in Horicon Marsh. Red-bellied woodpeckers put a lot of force on their heads as they use their chisel-like beaks to chip small pieces of wood off large tree limbs in search of insects or excavating a nest cavity. Occasionally, they will even wedge a large seed into a crevice of tree bark and use their beaks to break it into smaller pieces. Red-bellied woodpeckers are named for a marking that is extremely hard to see, a small, creamy red patch on the bellies. Since this pattern is so hard to spot, it is easy to become confused about why this bird is named the “red-bellied woodpecker”. These birds are common throughout the southern two-thirds of Wisconsin year-round, often visiting backyards and suet feeders. Their bold colors make them easy to spot, and a fan favorite among many Horicon bird enthusiasts.
Photo Credit: Jack Bartholmai