June 25, 2014

The sword master.

There are bully birds that chase other away from feeders and birdbaths.
Grackles and bluejays are repeat offenders.

There aren't many that will take on a red-bellied woopecker. His sharp, long pointed bill makes him a master at fending off other birds.
Once he's on a feeder he can readily stab at any bully that comes close.

This is a male with the red forehead, cap, and nape.

Melanerpes carolinus

You may occasionally see a Red-bellied Woodpecker flying quickly and erratically through the forest, abruptly changing direction, alighting for an instant and immediately taking off again, keeping up a quick chatter of calls. Scientists categorize this odd behavior as a type of play that probably helps young birds practice the evasive action they may one day need.

The oldest known Red-bellied Woodpecker was 12 years 1 month old.

source- Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

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