Monday, August 10, 2009

I Do Too Have a Red Belly

All of our neighbors love to watch birds, but few of them know much about them. Before we moved in, hardly any of them knew that this bird is a Red-bellied Woodpecker. His head is prominently red, so most neighbors called him a Red-headed woodpecker. Not too surprising, since we do not often see the red feathers for which the bird is named. I just love Red-headed Woodpeckers and at first I thought they must be common around here. I was a bit disappointed to find that all the reports of the Red-headed Woodpeckers were actually Red-bellied Woodpeckers.

This is our typical view of the Red-bellied Woodpecker.

Oh, I wish you could show us your underbelly.
"All right, Lady. I'll stand upright so you can see the red feathers on my belly."
Thanks, but now I can barely see your head so it's hard to decide what kind of bird you actually are.

"OK. How's this?"
Perfect. Thank you very much.

We are delighted to have our Downys, Hairys, Red-bellieds, and Pileateds but I would dearly love to see Red-headed Woodpeckers in our forest. Oh, and I want a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker too. I've seen them in our community, but none near our house.
---------------I had a repeat endoscopy early this morning. I had so hoped (unrealistically it seem) the ulcer would be completely healed, but my gastroenterologist was quite pleased with 85% healing, given the large size of the ulcer. As long as I take my medications, I am free to eat whatever I want, so bring on the fresh raw veggies!!! No wine (or other alcohol) until my repeat endoscopy in eight weeks, but that's not a big deal. We've still got plenty of fresh local vegetables and fruits.


Sam said...

What a pretty bird, I can understand the confusion.

I wish I had the surroundings for bird watching. Seems like a peaceful way to pass the time. I got so excited when I saw a Cardinal out at my boyfriend's house.. a nice deviation from crows and pigeons!

Glad to hear your health is improving. Keep us updated, and go enjoy some veggies.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi Carolyn, Congrats on being 85% healed... Afterall, it hasn't been that long---so you are doing really well. I had no idea that fresh veggies could cause an ulcer--until you mentioned it previously. Glad you can eat them now. Summer is the best time for the fresh veggies.

That was nice of your Red-bellied to show you his belly.... People do get confused with the woodpeckers. That's understandable I guess.

We have Red-headed ones around here--but I don't see them very often --and have not even gotten a photo this summer.

Stay healthy my friend.

Cheryl said...

Beautiful bird and wonderful narrative as always....

I am so pleased you are doing well. Hopefully in eight weeks all this will be just a memory......

Dog_geek said...

I'm glad you are on the mend! I love the red-bellied woodpeckers, too. I've never seen a red-headed woodpecker at our house, though.

Anonymous said...

FABULOUS pictures! I've never seen the red belly before! Really, really nice photos!

You eat a fruit cobbler for me and I'll drink an extra glass of wine for you. :)

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I'm so glad you're feeling better. It can take a while for stamina to return.

Love the red belly!

D.K. Wall said...

Congrats on 85%.

And, ahem, sheepishly raising hand here as one of the "uneducated masses" when it comes to birds. So I do enjoy the lessons in your blogs.

I did pop out, however, and look up a Red Headed Woodpecker to make sure I knew what one looked like. I would not have guessed the one in your pics was it, but I was still wrong about their looks. I had a woodpecker on my house several years ago that I thought was a Red Headed, but now that I see the pictures, wrong. Wonder what it was?

Much much bigger, so my guess is a Pileated (the red head was very striking and the bird was very large). Are they in our woods here?

Anonymous said...

That is a view almost never shown in the field guides. Great shot that hopefully will explain the name to many people.

Leedra said...

Glad you are improving.

My husband kepts telling me we had a red-headed woodpecker at Rockwood. I was so excited, until I saw it, still excited, but not as much. It was also a red-bellied. We do also have a Yellow bellied Sapsucker, but don't think he is there during the summer. Hope to see him again this fall. Nice posing for you, I can't get my birds to pose like that for me.

KGMom said...

Glad you are healing. Keep it up.

Love that red belly. Great shot.

troutbirder said...

We have fewer and fewer red heads here every summer. And you have finally put your rest my doubts about the red belly on the red bellied woodpecker. We have lots of those but I never saw the tummy like that before. Good luck with the continued healing process Caroline!

Tina said...

I, too, love those red-bellies and you really got an awesome shot of his red belly!! That's a hard shot to get!
Glad to hear you are doing better..following those diets can be really difficult..and boring..but sounds like you were a really good girl!.. good luck!

robin andrea said...

Thank you so much for posting that fabulous red belly on the red-bellied woodpecker. We see them here quite often, but never get a peek at their underside. Aha! So that's where they get their name, despite the obvious flaming red head.

I'm glad you are so very well on the mend. Keep at it, and enjoy those veggies.

Ashley said...

That's so interesting about the woodpeckers! I never knew that. And your pictures are great! I can really see what you are saying. Glad you are feeling better!

JeanMac said...

Yeah for good health news!

Jayne said...

What wonderful photos of the Red-bellied Carolyn! I'd love to see the Red-headed here too, but never have.

SO glad to hear the ulcer is slowly healing and that you can enjoy more foods once again. :c)

NCmountainwoman said...

Thanks, everyone.

Herd - Yes, you do indeed have Pileated Woodpeckers. When we looked for property in Haywood County a pair of them flew across the road in front of us.

Marylee - Thanks for sipping the wine for me.

Ruth said...

Glad you are getting better. What a nasty ulcer that must have been! I have had several people tell me they have had a Red-headed woodpecker at their feeder, and it always has been a Red-bellied.

Dave's Bird Watching Blog said...

Wow! I had never actually seen the red under there! I thought the name was more to distinguish them from the red-heads and that there was only a hint of red on their bellies. There really is a lot of red there...what do ya know?!

Great captions again!!!

Dawn Fine said...

Oh thank goodness the red bellied showed off its belly! Great shots!
Hope you are mending and will be 100 percent soon!

Twisted Fencepost said...

Pretty bird and pretty pictures. And he was so co-operative. Lucky!
Glad you are healing up. You'll be ship shape in no time, judging by the way you are progressing.