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 info@nulljdcf.org

Upcoming Events

Fall Forest Walk

September 30 @ 1:00 pm - 3:30 pm

With fall on the way, the appearance of trees changes significantly and identifying them can be tricky – unless you know your bark, berries, and  nuts. Join us to celebrate the change of season with a Fall Forest Walk at Schurmeier Teaching Forest. This free event will be led by expert staff and volunteers from […] Read More

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Creatures of the Night: Owls & Bats

October 21 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Learn about some of our nocturnal friends, owls and bats. This program, geared towards a middle school grade level, introduces the life cycle of the owl and its food and habitat. It also identifies the characteristics that make the owl a perfect predator and member of the raptor family. Participants will get to dissect an […] Read More

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The Return of Large Predators to the Midwest

November 11 @ 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Our keynote speaker will be Adrian Wydeven, nationally-renowned timber wolf expert, based at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College, in Ashland, WI. For more than 50 years, there were NO sightings of wolves in Illinois, but with declining habitat north of us, wolves have again been sighted since 2002, more in Jo Daviess […] Read More

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Owl Prowl

December 2 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join us for an evening owl-prowl hike at Casper Bluff.  This year, we will be joined by the Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab and Education Center who will bring along a few of their feathered friends for an educational program and meet and greet with live owls before we head out on the trails. There will be […] Read More

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