What a great day!! Today was my first sighting of a Red-headed woodpecker in several years. Two families used to visit my bird feeders—they love peanuts and hulled sunflower seed, but they left one fall and never returned. I’d almost given up hope of ever seeing them in the backyard again but this one landed on the hulled sunflower feeder a few minutes ago.
Red-headed woodpeckers have distinctive markings—a scarlet head, black back and wings, and snowy white underbelly. They are cavity nesters and favor dead trees and branches. The female lays 4-7 eggs and both the male and female incubate them for about two weeks.
Red-heads aggressively defend their territory and are the most omnivorous woodpecker. They eat seeds, nuts, fruit, insects, nestlings, bird eggs, and mice. They can catch insects on the wing like flycatchers.
It’s too bad that the Red-headed woodpecker population has declined in recent years and these beautiful birds are now considered near-threatened. I hope whatever caused them to leave the lake
has been fixed because I sure missed the Red-heads.