|Red-bellied Woodpecker (male) seen at|
NBNC on Nov. 7, 2012
Just a few decades ago, a Red-bellied Woodpecker in Vermont was extremely rare. With temperatures slowly rising, the range of this species has expanded and today they are encountered regularly in the Champlain Valley (although still very uncommon in central Vermont). Data from the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) support this trend. Only one CBC record exists from before 1980, but the species has now been recorded annually since the mid-1990's (see graph below).
As climate change continues, it will be interesting to see if the Red-bellied Woodpecker becomes even more prevalent in Vermont. Perhaps a decade from now, we'll peer out the windows at NBNC and remark, "oh, look... another Red-bellied Woodpecker. That's the fourth time this week!"