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 Red-bellied Woodpecker

Status in Michigan
Fairly Common

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Use the links below to view the Red-bellied Woodpecker reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Summer 2005
View Red-bellied Woodpecker sightings.
Red-bellied Woodpecker Archives Reports
Spring 2005
Fall 2004
Spring 2004
Winter 03-04
Fall 2003 202
Spring 2003 104
Winter 02-03 86
Fall 2002 53
Summer 2002 20
Spring 2002 112
Winter 01-02 55
Fall 2001 56
Summer 2001 30
Spring 2001 92
Winter 00-01 77
Fall 2000 47
Summer 2000 15
Spring 2000 60
Winter 00-99 89
Fall 1999 32
Spring/Summer 1999 5

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: Red-bellied Woodpecker

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text
The Birds of Michigan - by: Norman A. Wood
Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75

Centurus carolinus carolinus (Linnaeus)
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Uncommon and local resident north to lonia County and (at least formerly) to Saginaw and Lake counties.

First listed for Michigan by Sager (1839: 415).

Apparently the Red-bellied Woodpecker was more numerous 50 years ago than it is now. Both J. A. Alien (1868: 519) and Gibbs (1885: 134-35) described it as not rare in Kalamazoo County; at the turn of the century Swales (1902: 139; 1905: 110) observed that the bird was becoming rare. In 1896 F. H. Chapin noted the species several times as far north as Eden Township, Lake County (Barrows, 1912: 367), but the most northern records in recent years are those of Studt (1928 to 1931) from Pewamo, lonia County, where he listed one individual on Christmas lists in 1927 and 1929 and 2 in 1930. There are several records for the vicinity of Sault Ste Marie (Barrows, 1912: 367; Preece, 1924: 10; Bent, 1939: 245), but they lack confirmation. F. W. Rapp (1931: 16) listed the species as a rare permanent resident in Kalamazoo County, and a few are reported every year from other southwestern counties. N. A. Wood (1922: 16) found it rare in Berrien County. In Calhoun County, Walkinshaw found 2 on March 4, 1934, and 1 on December 1, 1934; Pirnie and H. L. Bradley observed 1 in Allegan County, March 28, 1938, and Durward L. Alien took 2 (U.M.M.Z.) in that county in the spring of 1939. In the Ann Arbor area Red-bellied Woodpeckers have been reported infrequently in recent years. Near Ann Arbor R. E. Olsen noted 1, December 1, 1929; R. L. Patterson 3 on October 28,1939; and H. W. Hann 1 on May 7,2023 (see also N. A. Wood and Tinker, 1910:132, for early 1900 records); from Jackson County, Fargo and others (1931: 56) listed 1 in their 1930 Christmas census, and 2 specimens have been taken in Livingston County, 1 by Van Tyne on February 19, 2023 (U.M.M.Z.), and 1 by R. E. Morrill on May 20, 2023 (Max M. Peet collection).

There are few actual nesting records for Michigan. Harriet H. "Wright found a nest with young in June, 1907, near Saginaw, and J. B. Purdy took 5 eggs from a nest near Plymouth, "Wayne County, on April 26, 2023 (re- ported by Barrows, 1912: 367, among other older records). Koelz (1923:38) observed a male excavating a nest March 26, 1922, in a woods near Waterloo, Jackson County, where he had noted the species for at least 10 years; H, W. Hann saw an adult at a nest cavity east of Hartland, Living- Eton County, April 28,1932, and at a second visit to the nest, on June 24, he discovered an adult was carrying food into the nest; Frank J. Hinds saw an adult and a juvenile at Wolf Lake, Kalamazoo County, on July 22, 1942.

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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