Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Red Bellies

When I was a kid in St. Augustine, we had this thing we did.
We called it a "Red Belly".
Essentially, two kids would hold another down on the ground, belly side up. Then, one of the holders would pull up the T-shirt of the victim just enough to expose their belly, which would then be slap-patted until it was a nice red hue.
Stung a little, but you couldn't wait to get big enough to return the favor to someone else.

I believe these red bellies were training for our eventual "red necks".

I only share that bit of southern right of passageness with you to make this point.
Our bellies really did turn red during the event, so the name "Red Belly" made perfect sense.

So I ask you, what idiot named this bird the red bellied woodpecker?

Even the Cornell University bird site makes this statement, "Yes, its belly is covered in a light red wash. But this woodpecker is easier to spot by the red on the back and top of its head."


So here is what I want to know ...


... if it were you who was charged with the task of naming this bird ...


... what would you call it?



The forum is open.

Background information on these shots ...
This " fill in the blank" wood pecker was working some dead wood in my Dad's grapefruit tree last weekend.
The tree is still holding fruit from last season and it's still good.

At least that's what the grapefruit eaters in the family tell me.
I've never met a grapefruit that tastes good.

Bitter, sour, bleccchhh, ... yes, but never good.

30 comments:

thingfish23 said...

Well, sir - if the behavior of our personal red-bellied WP's was any indication, I'd call them "gutterpeckers".

Our RBWP's perch on the house gutters and hammer away every morning, right around 7AM. Hlaf my mornings, our woodpecker(s) serve as my alarm clock! Interestingly, they stop pecking the gutters at the exact same time a sleepy household denizen (usually me) puts the suet feeder out. Trust me - they don't stop out of fear, either. I've had them engage in this behavior while perched directly over my head.

I do hear woodpeckers pecking on neighbors' gutters as well, so my less anthropomorphic mind says they're marking territory, not telling the residents of our household to hurry up and put the food out!

SophieMae said...

My favourite WP already claimed the Red-headed title, so maybe Red-naped would better suit this one.

I like your watermark!

Rurality said...

I'd name him after that sound he makes, but I don't know how to spell it. :)

Right there with you on the grapefruits. Ick. But they smell good, the pink ones anyway.

Susan said...

How about "speckle back" woodpecker?

robin andrea said...

The red yarmulke woodpecker?

threecollie said...

Red-headed was taken I guess. How about pointy-nosed, orange-patched (it isn't really all that red on the ones up here) noisy-gutter-banging tree bird?

vicki said...

Red-necked is good. He has that sort of lanky Southern build to go with it.

Our Florida neighbor who is going on 81 told us about their childhood rite of snapping each other in the back of the legs with those pokey sandspurs that grow down their- YOWWCCH! A little southern sadism thing, I guess.

WHAT?? on the grapefruit deal.

Anonymous said...

Nice shots of the female, they don't sit long enough here to get a good shot. Glad to known I don't have the only magical rain jeep. But, I'm still confussed like you are on why they are called red-bellies. I guess it is that the male does have more of a notable red bellie. I'm still trying to get a shot of the elusive cokoo.
Bro J

pablo said...

I have to go with the "red-neck woodpecker (or peckerwood?)" suggestion. Seems obvious to me (and maybe that was your intent).

Dr. Know said...

Great pictures, again. I also see you've discovered how to apply watermarks.

I'm with ya on the name mix-up. The ex and I have had several discussions about this very oddity. We primarily get three different species here: Downey, Red-Bellied, and Pilliated. The Red-cockaded are Endangered, but can still be seen in the few old growth pine forests that remain after GP loggers clear cut most of them. Yellow bellied sapsuckers are also seen occasionally and have repeatedly nested in one of the boxes out back, but not in the last two years.

Rampant development is taking its toll on the wildlife, and we're one of the few neighborhoods with any natural areas remaining. Personally, I'm way past ready to move from here again anyway -- this ain't MY home anymore. All the rivers stink from sewage, the air is putrid (as are the politics), severe droughts occur each year -- yet the carpetbagger developers keep building, and the politicians still embrace them. Depending on the climate change scenario, I moving back to either St. Johns or Manatee County, or somewhere waaay out West by North West. But FL has to get rid of Jeb, Still and krew before I ever consider moving south again. The Manatee 88 were kinda interesting, though...

But I digress...

Suze said...

Since my nickname for the Belted Kingfisher is "bedhead bird", I guess I could think of a nickname for this fellow - we have a pair of them in our backyard down here in South Florida, too. How about the "red-capped woodpecker"?

The Floridian Byrd said...

Bar-Shouldered Woodpecker? It fits, but then again most woodpeckers have barred shoulders... So who knows. Good pictures though, wow...

cinbad122 said...

I am not going to name your bird, but I will celebrate this glorious rainy day here in Florida!!!

Cathy S. said...

Woody is my vote. If I knew how to type that sound that the cartoon character made, I would do so. You'll just have to imagine it.

FYI, I really like your new blog list. It makes me want to keep posting on my blog so I can get to the top of the list! Since most of the blogs I read daily came from links to yours, it makes it easier to see who has posted as well. Great tool! Thanks for sharing it.

How's Gumbo Limbo?

Floridacracker said...

Thingfish,
They used to occasionally bang on my house, but it's been a long time since that has happened.
Maybe the everpresent owls scared them deeper into the woods.

Sophie,
That one is my favorite too.

Rurality,
Why do people eat those things?
And papaya too... why on earth would you eat that stinky fruit?

Susan,
Nice break from the red thang. Way more speckle than red anyway.

Robin,
Oy vey! I see it!
LOL!

3C,
Now that's a PF style name!
Long and descriptive.


Vicki,
Yes, we used to slap them into each other's T-shirt backs.
Canned spinach yes - grapefruit no!
LOL!

Bro J,
And I don't have a garage or carport for it either, so I really watch the weather!

Pablo,
You read things I don't even know I wrote ... so clever.
:)

Doc,
Well, it was a short learning curve, I just bought the software.

Suze,
It works and it makes more sense. Love the kingfisher's name!


Florida bird,
Thanks! This one is so used to my parents comings and goings that I only had to sit still for awhile.

Cathy S,
Well, Woody was a favorite of mine way back when Saturday morning was the only cartoon portion of the week.
Gumbo is past the fevers and almost dead stage, but is still having some joint problems ... new test results come in tomorrow.

The running total on the FREE pup Gumbo is now just under $1000.

rick said...

speckled ivory woodpecker

lesle said...

I do like the "Southern Red-Necked Peckerwood" Covers sight and sound.

And, shouldn't butterflies actually be flutterbys?

Cathy S. said...

Regarding the vet bill: Groan! I hope he takes payment plans. How about a benefit dog wash?

Sayre said...

Looks like he's wearing a red yamuka (the little hat that Jewish Men wear). Not sure I spelled that right...

Floridacracker said...

Cinbad,
Ack! I skipped you earlier by mistake.
Sorry about that pal,ya know that was an accident ;)
The rain was glorious here too!

Rick,
Works for me.

Lesle,
You mean they're not?

Cathy S,
I'm just having my paycheck direct depostited to his office.

Sayre,
I can see it too.

Deb said...

My great uncle always called them "ladder backed woodpeckers", because the bird book he used had a group of species that was called by that name.

I just think they are an amazing sight, no matter what they are called. I have not seen one here at Sand Creek thus far.

freste2715 said...

Ohhhhhhhh, you REALLY had to post THIS didn't ya? Grrrrrrrrrrrr.
I call them breakfast for kitty. Their official Middle Eastern name is:
Youf arking bass tudds.
Just so you know.

Glad to see you are protecting your images here!

As for the bitter balls of bile, even the Ruby Reds are nasty.
>> Gack <<.

As for fruit, I believe pit fruit is best, peaches, apricots, cherries, arm, nectarine, plum.

Floridacracker said...

Deb,
I think I've heard that before too.

Freste,
Pit fruit ... ack! LOL.

Ol' Lurker said...

We call 'em "Dat-bird-what-beat-his-face-agin-da-tree".

lesle said...

FC, for many years I lived across the street from an old, large pecan tree which had a cavity about 25-30 feet high. Every year red-headed woodpecker nested there.

When the adults emerged, they would just drop, plunge, until about four feet above the ground, and then open their wings and fly off. (A lovely sight!)

This habit of theirs undoubtedly is where the collective noun for woodpecker originated: a DESCENT of woodpecker.

Floridacracker said...

Ol Lurker,
That's the scientific name isn't it?


Lesle,
How lucky to have seen that and thank you for the education on a group of woodpeckers.
I had no idea!

thingfish23 said...

I love that robin put in a link for yarmulke, just for us goyim.

Anonymous said...

Like a lot of your friends, I mostly just call them hungry. However, if they don't desist from their attack on the soffit of my house, I might be able to come up with other names.

Floridacracker said...

Thingfish,
She's very thorough.

Anonymous,
Apparently this soffit/gutter habit is widespread.
I had no idea.

Just the Right Size said...

I always thought they looked like they were wearing houndstooth jackets.

So how about the "houndstooth woodpecker"?