However, the name red-headed woodpecker is assigned to another species―the Melanerpes erythrocephalus, which has bright red plumage covering its entire head.
Though they mostly rely on arthropods on tree trunks, their ability of catching insects in flight is unquestionable. They communicate with each other by drumming or tapping on trees trunks as well as aluminum roofs and transformer boxes (in urban settings). The habit of drumming (tapping) is much more prominent in males as compared to females.
The same pattern of black and white stripes is seen on its back. It has a prominent red nape, while the area surrounding the base of its bill is light reddish in color. The red belly, which is a characteristic trait of this species, is concealed by gray plumage on its underside, and is not easily visible when the bird is in flight.
The female lays around 3 - 8 eggs in the nest. Both take turns in guarding the nest. Around two weeks later, when the eggs hatch, the parents take turns in guarding and getting food for the young ones. In this manner, the female plays an equally important role in raising a family with its male counterpart.
The predators of this woodpecker species include birds like the Cooper's hawk in the air, and black rat snakes and house cats on trees. Though small, these species―especially the female woodpeckers―defend their nests aggressively without hesitating to take on predators that are relatively bigger in size.
As far as their population is concerned, red-bellied woodpeckers are enlisted as 'Least Concern' species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Due to their highly adaptive nature, this species was restricted to northeast United States at one point of time, has now been successful in extending its territory further north in Canada.