Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Picoides borealis

Order

PICIFORMES

Family

Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Code 4

RCWO

Code 6

PICBOR

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Near Threatened

The Red-cockaded Woodpecker has a fairly small and decreasing range of 604,000 square kilometers. It lives in mature, open Longleaf Pine forests in parts of the southeastern United States. This woodpecker species has experienced large declines since historical times because it requires open, mature pine forests adapted to a fire regimen. A combination of logging and fire suppresion eliminated the species from large parts of its range. However, modern management practices that benefit this species have been put into place in most parts of its current range with good results. The estimated population of this bird species is 15,000-30,000 individuals, and its conservation rating has been downgraded from Vulnerable of Near Threatened.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: Medium woodpecker, black-and-white barred back, black cap, nape, white face, throat, breast, black-spotted sides, flanks, belly. Dark eye-line ends in red cockade at rear of cap. Black wings have white bars. Black tail has black-spotted white outer feathers.

 

Range and Habitat

Red-cockaded Woodpecker: Historically, resident from southeastern Oklahoma and Maryland to the Gulf Coast and central Florida; classified as endangered throughout its current range in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Found in pinelands; requires old-growth trees for habitat.

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Red-cockaded Woodpecker SONGS AND CALLS

Red-cockaded Woodpecker A4

Quiet calls and drumming.

Red-cockaded Woodpecker A1

Agitated calls.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"yank, yank", "stripp", "tsick"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Red-cockaded Woodpecker one of the few bird species endemic to the United States.
  • A cockade is a ribbon or ornament worn on a hat. The "cockade" of this woodpecker is the tiny red line on the side of the head of the male. It may be hidden and is very difficult to see in the field.
  • While other woodpeckers bore out cavities in dead trees where the wood is rotten and soft, this is the only one which excavates cavities exclusively in living pine trees.
  • A group of woodpeckers has many collective nouns, including a "descent", "drumming", and "gatling" of woodpeckers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Irina Rud-Volga

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
CapX
The area on top of the head of the bird.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X