Monday, August 29, 2011

Red-headed Woodpecker

This weekend I decided to drive over to the middle of Wisconsin to Visit the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge. I try to go to Necedah a couple of times each year. The primary reason that I go is to photograph the endangered Karner blue butterfly but unfortunately I was a little late for that this year. However Necedah also has a healthy population of nesting red-headed woodpecker which I also like to photograph.

Although not endangered there are many people who are concerned about the continued existence of the red-headed woodpecker. In the past forty years their population has declined by 90%. Most of this is due to habitat loss. Red-headed woodpecker live in sparsely populated woodlands with an abundance of dead wood around. The dead wood is important because they drill holes into it for nesting cavities. They also use bored holes to cache food. Unlike many other species of woodpeckers most of their food comes from seeds or insects that they catch in flight. Since much of this food source is not available in the winter time it is important for the red-heads to cache food during the summer when it is plentiful. So as people remove dead wood because they deem it unsightly or are worried about fires, they also remove available habitat for the red-headed woodpecker. Fortunately there are still areas like Necedah where these birds can find a home I just wish that there were more places.



8 comments:

Veronica said...

Phew 90% loss of habitats is almost as good as gone...scary stats for such a gorgeous little creature.

Veronica
www.mothercitymagic.blogspot.com

Dina said...

Beautiful shot of this bird. I've only seen one of them once, in an old cemetary.

ilanadavita said...

Great shots. The red is stunning and almost looks like paint.

Liz said...

Beautiful shots!

My entries:
Moms...Check Nyo
Yummy-as-can-be

Forty Pound Sack said...

beautiful bird ~ I did not know the population was declining so drastically. Thank you for the lesson ~

Tatjana Parkacheva said...

Excellent and very nice photos.

Regards!

Leora said...

Gorgeous. A local birder posted one at one point, but it wasn't nearly as good a shot as this one.

Jackie said...

Stunning shots of a beautiful bird.