Red-headed Woodpecker

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image: redheadedwoodpecker.jpg

Common Name: Redheaded Woodpecker

Scientific Name: Melanerpes erythrocephalus

Size: 7-9 inches (19-23cm)

Habitat: In the United States; east of the Rockies, but more commonly, east of the Mississippi. In deciduous oak or beech woodlands, river bottoms, open woods with dead and dying trees. Attracted to burns and recent clearings.

Status: Near Threatened. Global Population: 2,500,000 mature individuals. Breeding Bird Survey data show the species is declining over much of its breeding range. Habitat degradation, as a result of the removal of dead trees and branches in urban areas, and loss of nesting habitat to firewood cutting, clear cutting, agricultural development and river channelling in rural areas, appears to be responsible. Collisions with moving vehicles may be a contributing factor, but persecution as a pest by farmers and utility companies is currently minimal. Audubon “Threatened” List

Diet: Insects, beetle larvae, fruits, and nuts.

Breeding: Five white eggs are laid in 24-hour intervals. Nesting takes place in tree cavities. Sexes are alike in markings.

Cool Facts: The Redheaded Woodpecker is one of the four North American Woodpeckers known to store food. It is also consider the most aggressive and omnivorous of the woodpeckers. It will destroy other birds nests within its’ territory.

This woodpecker has benefited from Chestnut Blight and Dutch Elm disease, which in turn provide additional nesting sightings.

The Cartoon star “Woody Woodpecker” was based on the Redheaded Woodpecker.

Found in Songbird ReMix Woodpeckers

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