Seldom Seen Red Headed Woodpecker
by Strom Johnston
When we built our home in 1991 we were visited several times the first spring by one of natures most beautiful birds a red headed woodpecker. He would perch on trees and then swoop to the ground I assume to feed.
Unless you've seen one it is really hard to tell you just how striking they are. They are very easy to distinguish from all other woodpeckers by the shiny red head and neck and glistening black and white body feathers.
I did not see a red headed wood pecker here again until yesterday April 6,2010. I was thrilled to see it again after an almost twenty year absence. Maybe he came while I was away and I just missed him but I doubt it. I think there has been some habitat destruction but seeing this bird again just made me feel better.If you love wildlife like I do that's all the explanation you need.
Aren't you lucky! Red-headed woodpeckers seldom drill for insects. Instead they often feed in shrubs or on the ground, taking insects, berries, fruits and nuts. They will visit feeding stations, preferring seed and suet. Red-headed woodpeckers used to be far more prolific but now the starlings often steal their nesting hollows. His mate is red-headed too!