Red-headed Woodpecker Recovery Project

Red-headed Woodpecker -Baird

Red-headed Woodpecker -Baird

The RHWO is a native of the Eastern US, most typically seen in open woodlands and savannas. It can be found in river bottoms, groves of dead and dying trees, orchards, urban parks, open agricultural country, savanna-like grasslands with scattered trees, forest edges, and along roadsides. It avoids forests with closed canopies. It is a cavity nester, and chooses dead trees to carve out its nest.

This bird catches its prey on the wing or by foraging in dead trees or on the ground. It eats insects and other invertebrates, berries and nuts, as well as the young and eggs of other birds. It requires open areas both for fly catching and ground foraging. It stores nuts and grasshoppers by wedging them in bark crevices, fence post cracks, and other crannies.

Over roughly the past 40 years the numbers of RHWO have declined by up to 90%. The most important reason is loss of habitat. During the past several decades many of our wooded areas have become overgrown and closed, due largely to a lack of active management. The RHWO requires an open woodland or savanna area so it can effectively forage for food. The RHWO nests in dead trees or limbs, and for greatest success, those nests should be 30 feet or more above the ground. When the numbers of large, dead trees are reduced, so are the numbers of nesting sites.

For more information, contact

Upcoming Events

JDCF Annual Meeting

April 7 @ 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm

The public is invited to JDCF’s annual meeting on Saturday, April 7th, 2018 beginning with a social hour at 4:30 PM.  Our keynote speaker will be Jon Greendeer, Former President and current Executive Director of Heritage Preservation of the Ho-Chunk Nation.  Jon is a proud member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a student of the Ho-Chunk […] Read More

Find out more »

Fantastic Frogs & Friends Frog Walk

April 27 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Bring the whole family to Fantastic Frogs & Friends, a frog walk beginning on the east side of the Meeker Street footbridge along the Galena River Trail in downtown Galena, IL. Learn all about frogs and toads, join us in a toast to spring, and then take part in a guided hike down the trail […] Read More

Find out more »

Bluebird & Red-headed Woodpecker Workshop

April 28 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Details to come.

Find out more »

JDCF’s Portage Site: A Center of Native American History

May 12 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join archaeologist Phil Millhouse and Chloris Lowe, former President of the Ho-Chunk Nation, for a guided tour of JDCF’s Portage Preserve including the Hopewell burial mounds.  Portage is not open to the public and so this is a rare opportunity to learn about the site from our expert tour leaders.  RSVP’s to are required […] Read More

Find out more »