Saturday, June 4, 2011
Red Bellied Woodpeckers and Spittle Bugs
This is a male Red Bellied Woodpecker bringing food to it's nest in Springbrook Nature Center's woodlands this past Wednesday.
As can be seen in the second photo below, the bugs he is finding in the trees look real yummy!
This male was returning to the nest about every 20 minutes, and I didn't see the female, so I wondered if she is still inside the nest with very little babies, and he is feeding her?
You can tell that this is a female because the red on her head only goes half way to her beak. On the male the red goes all the way across the head to the beak, as you can see in the picture above and below.
You don't see this very often, and many people wonder why they are called Red Bellied...now you can see the reason.
Leaf Hoppers, spittle bugs at this age, are in the group of insects known as Hemiptera, or, "true bugs." All "true bugs" have sucking mouth parts, as these little guys demonstrate very well.
In the two pictures below you can see how the little 1/4 inch "bug" started creating more bubbles as soon as he was exposed. He was completely encased in new bubbles in seconds.