Friday, May 21, 2010

Red-headed Woodpecker

One of the most aggressive members of the woodpecker family is the read-headed woodpecker. They are usually found in woodlands with a lot of dead trees in the eastern half of the United States. Due to the clearing of dead and dying trees by private land owners and government agencies the red-headed woodpecker is in decline over most of its breeding range due to habitat lose. These pictures were taken at Necedah NWR in Wisconsin.
The red-headed woodpecker relies on habitat with dead and dying trees for a couple of reasons. First of they are cavity nesters, they typically nest in dead trees that have little bark left on them. They are very territorial when breeding and will often destroy the nests and eggs of other birds, especially other cavity nesters. Red-heads are also one of only four types of woodpecker that are known to cache food. They usually cache food, (seeds, acorns, or insects) in cracks and crevices in the dead wood. Unlike the other woodpeckers that cache food the red-head will sometimes cover their cache with bark. So it is important to leave enough dead trees in the forest because by removing all of them we may inadvertently remove another species of birds from our planet such as the red-headed woodpecker.

11 comments:

KaHolly said...

How can we get the word out to everybody??? This is so important! ~karen

Kcalpesh said...

Marvelous captures! Superb focus and great colors!


Pixellicious Photos

Crafty Green Poet said...

what a handsome woodpecker! Informative post too, thanks!

Misty Dawn said...

Gorgeous images. I posted a Red Headed Woodpecker for CC too over at Misty's Words.

eileeninmd said...

That would be very sad to loose this species of birds. Great shots of the redheaded woodie. I have been to variosu parks where they are leaving the dead trees standing. Great post!

Dave said...

What a stunner!

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Wonderful photos as always, I was so excited to see 2 red heads this past week, I have not seen any in a few years.

Snap said...

Gorgeous, instructive post. Thanks and happy Critter Day!

Anonymous said...

Great pictures. They are also in decline because the european startling takes over their cavities.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

You are so right about the reason for their decline and yet another reason also is while they are on the decline, Starlings are on the upswing and they take over their territories and food sources much of the time. I saw my first true Red-Headed Woodpecker only week before last, what a neat experience it was too~

troutbirder said...

We see so few hereabout now and many more red-bellied. I wonder if that is somehow connected as well?