Don’t “leap” to conclusions!

The woodpecker shown in the following photos has a red head so it must be a Red-headed Woodpecker, right? Wrong!

A Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) spotted at River Towers Condominiums, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is probably a male.

This is a Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus), probably a male, spotted on 29 February 2016 at River Towers Condominiums, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

A Red-bellied Woodpecker (Melanerpes carolinus) spotted at River Towers Condominiums, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is probably a male.

Red-bellied Woodpeckers are relatively common, unlike some of their red-headed counterparts including Pileated Woodpecker and Red-headed Woodpecker, to name a couple.

By the way, did you catch the significance of the title of this post? I shot the photos on “Leap Day 2016.”

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

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One Response to “Don’t “leap” to conclusions!”

  1. Mike Powell Says:

    You won’t be able recycle your “leap” humor for another four years, Walter. For better or worse, most of my humor gets used more often. Seriously, though, I remember well my initial difficulties in bird identification–sometimes the names just did not match what I was seeing (like a female Red-winged Blackbird that is not black and does not have red wings). Now that I have seen Red-headed Woodpeckers, I don’t confuse them with their Red-bellied brethren, but I know that I made that mistake when I was a newbie.

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