Melanerpes carolinus - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Other English Common Names: red-bellied woodpecker
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Melanerpes carolinus (Linnaeus, 1758) (TSN 178195)
French Common Names: Pic à ventre roux
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101877
Element Code: ABNYF04170
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
Image 11131

© Jeff Nadler

 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Piciformes Picidae Melanerpes
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Melanerpes carolinus
Taxonomic Comments: Placed in genus Centurus by some authors (AOU 1983). Hybridizes with M. aurifrons in Texas and Oklahoma (Smith 1987, Dixon 1989). Appears to constitute a superspecies with M. aurifrons, M. hoffmannii, M. uropygialis, and M. superciliaris (AOU 1998).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 02Dec1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4B,N4N,N3M (25Jan2018)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5), Arkansas (S5), Colorado (S4), Connecticut (S5), Delaware (S5), District of Columbia (S5), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S5), Illinois (S5), Indiana (S4), Iowa (S5B), Kansas (S5), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (S5), Maryland (S5), Massachusetts (S4), Michigan (S5), Minnesota (SNR), Mississippi (S5), Missouri (SNR), Nebraska (S4), New Hampshire (S2), New Jersey (S4B,S4N), New York (S5), North Carolina (S5), North Dakota (SU), Ohio (S5), Oklahoma (S5), Pennsylvania (S5), Rhode Island (S2B,S2N), South Carolina (SNR), South Dakota (S4), Tennessee (S5), Texas (S5B), Vermont (S3), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S5B,S5N), Wisconsin (S5B)
Canada Ontario (S4), Quebec (S3)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Resident from southeastern Minnesota east across southern Great Lakes region to southern New England, south to central Texas, Gulf Coast, and southern Florida. May withdraw in winter from higher elevations and northern edge of range (National Geographic Society 1983).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Resident from southeastern Minnesota east across southern Great Lakes region to southern New England, south to central Texas, Gulf Coast, and southern Florida. May withdraw in winter from higher elevations and northern edge of range (National Geographic Society 1983).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
Canada ON, QC

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
ND Burleigh (38015)*, Dickey (38021)*, Morton (38059)*, Sargent (38081)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
09 Western Wild Rice (09020105)+*
10 Painted Woods-Square Butte (10130101)+*, Upper Lake Oahe (10130102)+*, Apple (10130103)+*, Lower Heart (10130203)+*, Upper James (10160003)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Reproduction Comments: In southeastern U.S., generally initiates nesting late March and early April (Ingold 1989). Clutch size is 3-8 (usually 4-5); probably 1 brood per year in north, 2 in south. Incubation 11-13 days, by both sexes. Young are tended by both parents, leave nest at 24-26 days, independent about 6 weeks later.
Ecology Comments: In Michigan, 7% of red-bellied woodpecker cavities were usurped by starlings (Ingold 1989). In Ohio, 39% of cavities were lost to starlings (Ingold 1994). Woodpeckers do not necessarily incur a reduction in fecundity because they may be able to renest successfully later in the season, though this is not without its problems (Ingold 1994).
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: May withdraw in winter from higher elevations and from northern edge of range (National Geographic Society 1983).
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Suburban/orchard, Woodland - Conifer, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Standing snag/hollow tree
Habitat Comments: Open woodland (primarily deciduous, less frequently coniferous), second growth, riverine forest, swamps, parks, orchards, shade trees of towns.

Nests in hole usually less than 12 m up in live or dead tree, stump, utility pole, wooden building, bird box; may nest in same area or tree in successive years; may reuse hole from previous year, including deserted holes of other species. Starlings often take over completed holes.

Adult Food Habits: Frugivore, Granivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Frugivore, Granivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats various insects, seeds and nuts, small fruits, pulp and juice of large fruits; forages in trees and on ground (Terres 1980). Sometimes preys on eggs and nestling birds.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 24 centimeters
Weight: 67 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Woodpeckers

Use Class: Breeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: The high potential for gene flow among populations of birds separated by fairly large distances makes it difficult to circumscribe occurrences on the basis of meaningful population units without occurrences becoming too large. Hence, a moderate, standardized separation distance has been adopted for woodpeckers; it should yield occurrences that are not too spatially expansive while also accounting for the likelihood of gene flow among populations within a few kilometers of each other.

Be careful not to separate a population's nesting areas and foraging areas as different occurrences; include them in the same occurrence even if they are more than 5 km apart.

Territories generally smaller than non-breeding home ranges. Territories/home ranges: Red-headed Woodpecker, summer territories 3.1-8.5 hectares (Venables and Collopy 1989), winter territories smaller (0.17 hectare to 1 hectare (Williams and Batzli 1979, Venables and Collopy 1989, Moskovits 1978); Lewis's Woodpecker, 1.0-6.0 hectares (Thomas et al. 1979); Golden-fronted Woodpecker, summer ranges larger than breeding territories, ranging from 15.4 to 41.7 hectares (average 24.9, Husak 1997); Gila Woodpecker, pair territories ranged from 4.45 to 10.0 hectares (n = 5) (Edwards and Schnell 2000); Nuttall's Woodpecker, about 65 hectares (0.8 kilometers diameter; Miller and Bock 1972); Hairy Woodpecker: breeding territories averaged 2.8 hectares, range 2.4 to 3.2 hectares (Lawrence 1967); Black-backed Woodpecker, home ranges 61-328 hectares (Goggans et al. 1988, Lisi 1988, Dixon and Saab 2000); White-headed Woodpecker, mean home ranges 104 and 212 hectares on old-growth sites and 321 and 342 hectares on fragmented sites (Dixon 1995a,b); Williamson's Sapsucker, home ranges 4-9 hectares (Crockett 1975).

Fidelity to breeding site: high in Red-headed Woodpeckers--15 of 45 banded adults returned to vicinity following year (Ingold 1991); one adult moved 1.04 kilometers between breeding seasons (Belson 1998).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .2 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on a conservatively small home range of 3 hectares.
Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 11Jan1995
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): HAMMERSON, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
Help
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  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU), Committee on Classification and Nomenclature. 1983. Check-list of North American Birds. Sixth Edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, Kansas.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1983. Check-list of North American Birds, 6th edition. Allen Press, Inc., Lawrence, Kansas. 877 pp.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.

  • American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 2003. Forty-fourth supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds. The Auk 120(3):923-931.

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  • B83COM01NAUS - Added from 2005 data exchange with Alberta, Canada.

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  • Crockett, A. B. 1975. Ecology and behavior of the Williamson's Sapsucker in Colorado. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Colorado, Boulder.

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  • See SERO listing

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