Whether a hunter, farmer or homeowner, you may own a piece of land that can be used by red-heads. If you have large trees on your lot, keep them. If the trees have dead branches or have themselves died, leave some for a few years. Red-headed Woodpeckers can respond within one year to suitable habitat!
Educate yourself and your neighbors to the red-head's habitat needs. You may be richly rewarded.
Ideal Red-headed Woodpecker habitat includes:
• Large trees. These may be hardwoods or pines. Red-heads are very opportunistic.
• A park-like low density of trees. City lots and pastures are ideal.
• An open understory.
• A good number of mast trees, producing nuts and acorns - oaks, hickory, beech.
While red-heads eat insects in the warmer months, these nut trees will help them through the
• Good availability of trees with dead limbs or dead trees. That is, "wildlife trees".
The key feature is wildlife trees. In modern times, we have been taught to remove all dying trees as soon as possible. Any tree in "decline" is suspect and any dead tree is removed immediately. The red-head has paid the price.
The recovery of the red-head calls for a more measured approach. If it's safe to leave a wildlife tree up for a few years, consider doing so. If a small stand of trees is killed due to flood, drought or other cause, think of it as a nursery for red-heads and other wildlife.
Please contact us with any questions. We can work with you to assess the potential for your site and we're happy to supply additional information.