Found a male Red-bellied Woodpecker outside the north entrance to the Noble Research Center today. If you don’t know this bird, you might be familiar with its call. Red-bellies are common forest birds from the Great Plains to the Great Lakes, and south to the Gulf Coast and into Florida. They are non-migratory, although I bet they occasionally disperse over long distances.
This one looks to have been out on a foraging run from which he will not return. His fat score was 0 and he had a nice (though drying stages) brood patch. I’m not sure about all species, but woodpeckers are well known to be unusual among birds in that the male also incubates the eggs, and usually is the default parent on the nest overnight. Thus, brood patches occur in both males and females during the breeding season. This male’s brood patch indicates that he has or had an active nest somewhere, i.e., he wasn’t some vagrant woodpecker dispersing over a long distance when he met his demise.