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The Red-bellied Woodpecker is the largest woodpecker I’ve seen along Little Crum Creek. 

Its spring call is so lush and ruffling  that we can often spot one through new leaves. 

But now, in late fall, it is particularly conspicuous, sometimes drumming loudly on tree sides and departing dramatically from every landing.

Red-bellieds visit rarely enough to warrant announcement when one hits the suet to set it swinging.  Its strong tail and grasp then steady the cage for feeding.

We can tell these males by the full red caps running all the way to their beaks.  A female’s red streak ends at the nape.

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Daily, several Downy Woodpeckers busily satisfy their cravings for bark-dwelling insects by scouring the tree sides of Little Crum Creek.

But, next to gray squirrels, the female Downy has also been autumn’s most frequent visitor to nearby suet cakes, often lingering until a peckish male, aggressively flashing his distinctive red patch, dispatches her for his own hasty feeding.

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