Friday, September 17, 2010

Red-headed Woodpecker

The red-headed woodpecker is a pretty easy bird to identify, with its black and white body and bright red head and throat there are few birds around that it can be mistaken for. Unfortunately because of declining populations many people have not seen this type of woodpecker so they may not recognise it at first glance. Fortunately they still have a healthy population of red-heads at Necedah NWR, in Wisconsin, where I took these photographs.
The red-headed woodpecker is native to the eastern half of the United States. It is a year round resident through out much of its range however during the winter it will migrate south from the northern portions of its range, like Minnesota. The reason that they are in decline, they are currently considered a Species of Greatest Conservation Need, is due to habitat destruction. Red-headed woodpeckers look for open woodlands with a lot of dead trees for their habitat. They are cavity nesters that typically nest in dead trees, preferably ones that have been stripped of bark. They are true omnivores eating everything from berries, seeds and nuts, to insects, and bird eggs. They will often cache their food in the crevices of dead trees, including live insects which they wedge into cracks, and cover it with pieces of bark. Unfortunately many people still remove dead trees from what little wooded areas are still around, for protection from fire or for aesthetics, leaving very little habitat for these beautiful birds to live and breed.

12 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Great shots of the Redheaded Woodie. It is one of my favorite woodies.

ladyfi said...

Love the vibrant red of the bird! And that crane photo in the previous post is stunning too!

Brad Myers said...

It has been a long time since I stopped by your site, I forgot what I was missing. Great photos.

squirrel said...

Beautiful. I don't see many around here anymore. Like you said they are declining. Thanks for brgining it to our attention.

Eds said...

Lovely bird! Her red head makes her more stunning! :)

Kcalpesh said...

Marvelous!! Really wonderful!!

Pixellicious Photos

Poetic Shutterbug said...

That is one stylish woodie. What great shots.

Idaho Birder said...

I can't wait to see one in person one day! Great photos.

EG Wow said...

There;s a lot of red on that woodpecker. It must be hard for it to hide from its predators.

Susan said...

Beautiful shots! I rarely see Red-headeds except at the park. Love 'em though.
I just discovered your blog. I'll be sticking around!

Nancy said...

WE ARE LOOKING AT ONE IN wICHITA kANSAS, VISITING OUR SUNFLOWER SEED FEEDER UNDER THE SOUTH END OF OUR PORCH. nEVER HAVE SEEN THIS BIRD BEFORE TODAY. APPROX. 8 FT FROM OUR WINDOW TO THE FEEDER, SO EXCELLENT VIEW.

Jeff Byrd said...

I saw two here in New Mexico yesterday, June 29th.