Why do so many people see this delightful bird and think it must be a Red-headed Woodpecker? Because it has a red head, right?! But lots of woodpeckers have red on their heads – see similar species on All About Birds.
As eBird will tell you, the Red-bellied Woodpecker “is not well-named; rarely is the slight red wash on the belly visible!” (ebird.org). This male’s red belly is well-hidden by the Spanish moss and the branch he’s clinging to.
According to the American Bird Conservancy, there are over 20 species of woodpeckers in North America, but the Red-bellied is almost exclusively seen only from the plains states to the east coast (WhatBird). To hear and read more about the charming Red-bellied Woodpecker, check out this episode of Bird Note!