We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I have this bird at my feeder in Southern New England. Why they are called "red-bellied" is beyond me because it sure is not a distinctive feature. They are fairly common up here. Wacka-wacka-wacka.
A common woodpecker over much of the South, the Red-bellied is scarcer farther north but has expanded its breeding range northward in recent decades. Like most woodpeckers, it is beneficial, consuming large numbers of wood-boring beetles as well as grasshoppers, ants, and other insect pests. It also feeds on acorns, beechnuts, and wild fruits. It is one of the woodpeckers that habitually stores food.
Breeds from South Dakota, Great Lakes, and southern New England south to the Gulf coast and Florida. Northernmost birds sometimes migrate south for winter. Inhabits open and swampy woodlands; comes into parks during migration and to feeders in winter.
The Red-bellied Woodpecker competes vigorously for nest holes with other woodpeckers, in one case even dragging a Red-cockaded Woodpecker from a nest cavity and killing it. But it is often evicted from nest holes by the European Starling. In some areas, half of all Red-bellied Woodpecker nesting cavities are taken over by starlings.
They are called red-bellied because the ornithologists assigning the names are working with museum specimens in hand. My favorite species name in that regard is sharp-shinned hawk. Sharp shins? Really?