WatchList Species Account for Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) |
the list as a Declining Yellow List Species
Breeding in the eastern U.S. and southern
Canada, the Red-headed Woodpecker has always seemed to fluctuate
between boom and bust in its population size, its high numbers
coinciding with the decline of chestnut and elm and consequent
abundance of dead trees for feeding and nesting, and its low
numbers perhaps brought about by the decline of beech and
Rocky Mountain grasshoppers.
A species of forest edge and open areas, its numbers are decreasing
in the parts of the eastern U.S. being reforested - Breeding Bird Survey data show it
has declined at an annual rate of 2.2% from 1966-1996. It
has increased locally in some places where increasing beaver populations
have created flooded forests with abundant dead trees.
Availability of snags for nesting and roosting is important for its conservation, as is the presence
of open areas for fly-catching.