Melanerpes erythrocephalus - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Red-headed Woodpecker
Other English Common Names: red-headed woodpecker
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Melanerpes erythrocephalus (Linnaeus, 1758) (TSN 178186)
French Common Names: pic à tête rouge
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.103539
Element Code: ABNYF04040
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Other Birds
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Piciformes Picidae Melanerpes
Genus Size: D - Medium to large genus (21+ species)
Check this box to expand all report sections:
Concept Reference
Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online:
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Melanerpes erythrocephalus
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 09Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 02Dec1996
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Reasons: This species has declined dramatically but its numbers are still estimated to be in the millions.
Nation: United States
National Status: N5B,N5N (05Jan1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N4B,N3M (08Dec2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5), Arkansas (S4B,S4S5N), Colorado (S3B), Connecticut (S1), Delaware (S1), District of Columbia (S1N,SHB), Florida (S4), Georgia (S4), Illinois (S5), Indiana (S4), Iowa (S5B), Kansas (S5B), Kentucky (S4B,S4N), Louisiana (S4), Maryland (S4), Massachusetts (S1B,S2N), Michigan (S3), Minnesota (SNRB,SNRN), Mississippi (S4S5), Missouri (SNRB,SNRN), Montana (S3B), Nebraska (S5), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (S2B,S2N), New Mexico (S3B,S3N), New York (S2?B), North Carolina (S4B,S4N), North Dakota (SNRB), Ohio (S5), Oklahoma (S4S5), Pennsylvania (S4B,S4N), Rhode Island (S1B,S1N), South Carolina (SNR), South Dakota (S5B), Tennessee (S4), Texas (S3B), Vermont (S1B), Virginia (S4B), West Virginia (S2B,S3N), Wisconsin (S3B), Wyoming (S3B)
Canada Alberta (SUB), Manitoba (S2B), Ontario (S4B), Quebec (S1B), Saskatchewan (S1B,S1M)

Other Statuses

Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA) Schedule 1/Annexe 1 Status: T (05Mar2009)
Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC): Endangered (01Apr2018)
Comments on COSEWIC: Reason for Designation: This boldly patterned woodpecker, which inhabits open deciduous forests, has experienced a substantial long-term population reduction. This decline is associated primarily with reduced quality of breeding habitat, particularly the loss of standing dead trees needed for nesting, fly-catching, and food caching. Other threats include increased competition for nest sites from native and non-native bird species. The Canadian population is now likely less than 6,000 mature individuals, almost all in Manitoba and Ontario. It appears to not be self-sustaining, and ongoing declines may accelerate given that numbers are also decreasing in adjacent parts of the U.S. range.

Status History: Designated Special Concern in April 1996. Status re-examined and designated Threatened in April 2007. Status re-examined and designated Endangered in April 2018.

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: BREEDING: Southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan to southern New Brunswick (formerly), south to central Texas, Gulf Coast, and Florida, west to central Montana, eastern Wyoming, eastern Colorado, and central New Mexico (AOU 1998). NON-BREEDING: regularly through the southern two-thirds of the breeding range, rarely to the northern limits of the breeding range (AOU 1998).

Area of Occupancy: >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Assuming the 2.5 million global population estimate is correct, estimates of between 1 to 10 pairs per 40 hectares would easily put this species at over 20,000 square kilometers

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations), but it has shown long-term declines which have continued at a moderately rapid rate owing to loss and degradation of its habitat in recent decades. Consequently it is considered Near Threatened (Birdlife International, 2014). Partners in Flight (2013) estimates a global population of 1.2 million. There should be at least 81 element occurrences with such a population number.

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: National Audubon estimates global population to be 2.5 million (National Audubon Society, 2014) but Partners in Flight (2013) estimates 1.2 million

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Some to many (13-125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: With a large range encompassing many states, populations in national wildlife refuges and state parks should be reasonably good EOs.

Overall Threat Impact Comments: Habitat degradation, as a result of the removal of dead trees and branches in urban areas (Pulich 1988), and loss of nesting habitat to firewood cutting, clear cutting, agricultural development and river channelling in rural areas (Ehrlich et al. 1992, Melcher 1998), appears to be responsible for the decline. Collisions with moving vehicles may be a contributing factor, but persecution as a pest by farmers and utility companies is currently minimal (Smith et al. 2000, del Hoyo et al. 2002; from Birdlife International, 2014). HABITAT: Local declines probably have been due to loss of nesting habitat as a result of firewood cutting and forest clearing for agriculture and residential development. Loss of mature bottomland hardwood forest continues to pose threats to breeding and wintering habitat (Kilham 1958, Moscovits 1978). More than 63 percent of the original southeastern bottomland hardwood forests have been lost, and the rate of loss per decade in eastern Texas is 14 percent (USFWS 1984). Declining in urban and suburban areas due to removal of dead limbs and branches (Pulich 1988). Reforestation of eastern U.S., loss of small orchards, loss of chestnuts, decline of oak savannah habitat, fire suppression in the 20th century, and the switch to "cleaner" agricultural practices (e.g., removal of hedgerows, odd corners on fields, larger monoculture fields) probably have all contributed to the decline (Smith et al., in press). Habitat areas in isolated woodlots and trees surrounded by cropland may increase exposures to pesticides, but this has not been documented. COMPETTION: In Michigan, 52 percent of nest cavities were usurped by European Starling (STURNUS VULGARIS; Ingold 1989). In Ohio, 15 percent of cavities were lost to starlings (Ingold 1994). Woodpeckers do not necessarily incur a reduction in fecundity because they may be able to re-nest successfully later in the season, though this is not without its problems (Ingold 1994).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Blue Listed by National Audubon Society in 1972 and 1981, listed as Special Concern in 1982. By 1986, still warranted Special Concern and were widely reported as declining or severely declining (Ehrlich et al. 1992). Local declines have been reported, especially in the southeastern U.S. From the 2002 through the 2012 BBS, there has been an annual 0.62 decline in the population survey-wide, which translates to a 6% decline over the 10-year period (Sauer, et. al. 2014).

Long-term Trend: Decline of >50%
Long-term Trend Comments: This species has undergone a large and statistically significant decrease over the last 40 years in North America (-65.5% decline over 40 years, equating to a -23.3% decline per decade; data from Breeding Bird Survey and/or Christmas Bird Count: Butcher and Niven 2007) (Birdlife International, 2014).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable to not intrinsically vulnerable.
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: Fairly adaptable to different habitats as long as there are large snags for nesting and open areas for catching insects.

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Environmental specificity is for large snags

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: Given the major population highs and lows over the last several hundred years, a study / inventory range-wide that can determine the population trends for this species would be a valuable study.

Protection Needs: Continue to monitor population trends. Monitor rates of habitat loss and degradation. Use fire for its positive effects - prescribed burning and understorey thinning increased numbers in Arkansas by creating more open forest stands, improving foraging opportunities; however, whilst burning may create nest-snags, it also destroys existing nest-snags. Creation or maintenance of snags for nesting and roosting is of prime importance. Snags should be retained, in groups if possible. Dead branches should be retained on big trees in non-urban areas and only selectively pruned where hazardous in urban areas. Selective thinning of live trees appears to have a positive effect (e.g. removal of 50% of oak trees for prairie restoration on a reserve in Ohio immediately attracted nesting birds) (Birdlife International, 2014).

Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) BREEDING: Southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan to southern New Brunswick (formerly), south to central Texas, Gulf Coast, and Florida, west to central Montana, eastern Wyoming, eastern Colorado, and central New Mexico (AOU 1998). NON-BREEDING: regularly through the southern two-thirds of the breeding range, rarely to the northern limits of the breeding range (AOU 1998).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, AR, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV, WY
Canada AB, MB, ON, QC, SK

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at

Range Map Compilers: WILDSPACETM 2002

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
CT Fairfield (09001)*, Hartford (09003)*, Litchfield (09005)*, Middlesex (09007), New London (09011)*
DE Kent (10001)*, Sussex (10005)
ID Blaine (16013), Caribou (16029)
MI Barry (26015), Lake (26085), Livingston (26093), Montcalm (26117), Muskegon (26121), Newaygo (26123), Oceana (26127)
MT Carter (30011), Custer (30017), Dawson (30021), Fallon (30025), McCone (30055), Musselshell (30065), Phillips (30071), Powder River (30075), Prairie (30079), Richland (30083), Roosevelt (30085), Rosebud (30087), Sweet Grass (30097), Treasure (30103), Valley (30105), Wibaux (30109), Yellowstone (30111)
NJ Atlantic (34001), Bergen (34003), Burlington (34005), Camden (34007), Cape May (34009), Cumberland (34011), Essex (34013), Gloucester (34015), Hunterdon (34019), Mercer (34021), Middlesex (34023), Monmouth (34025), Morris (34027), Ocean (34029), Passaic (34031), Salem (34033), Somerset (34035), Sussex (34037), Warren (34041)
NY Albany (36001), Allegany (36003), Cayuga (36011), Chautauqua (36013), Clinton (36019), Erie (36029), Jefferson (36045), Livingston (36051), Monroe (36055), Oneida (36065), Onondaga (36067), Orleans (36073), St. Lawrence (36089), Suffolk (36103), Tompkins (36109), Ulster (36111)
SC Anderson (45007), Charleston (45019)
VT Addison (50001), Franklin (50011), Grand Isle (50013), Orange (50017), Windsor (50027)
WV Monroe (54063), Pendleton (54071)
WY Albany (56001), Big Horn (56003), Campbell (56005), Carbon (56007), Converse (56009), Crook (56011), Fremont (56013), Goshen (56015), Johnson (56019), Laramie (56021), Natrona (56025), Niobrara (56027), Park (56029), Platte (56031), Sheridan (56033), Sweetwater (56037), Teton (56039), Washakie (56043), Weston (56045)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Waits (01080103)+, Black-Ottauquechee (01080106)+, Lower Connecticut (01080205)+, Westfield (01080206)+*, Farmington (01080207)+*, Thames (01100003)+*, Housatonic (01100005)+*
02 Mohawk (02020004)+, Middle Hudson (02020006)+, Rondout (02020007)+, Lower Hudson (02030101)+, Hackensack-Passaic (02030103)+, Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104)+, Raritan (02030105)+, Southern Long Island (02030202)+, Middle Delaware-Mongaup-Brodhead (02040104)+, Middle Delaware-Musconetcong (02040105)+, Crosswicks-Neshaminy (02040201)+, Lower Delaware (02040202)+, Cohansey-Maurice (02040206)+, Broadkill-Smyrna (02040207)+, Mullica-Toms (02040301)+, Great Egg Harbor (02040302)+, Chincoteague (02040303)+, South Branch Potomac (02070001)+, Western Lower Delmarva (02080109)+, Pokomoke-Western Lower Delmarva (02080111)+
03 Cooper (03050201)+, Upper Savannah (03060103)+
04 Lower Grand (04050006)+, Thornapple (04050007)+, Pere Marquette-White (04060101)+, Manistee (04060103)+, Shiawassee (04080203)+, Chautauqua-Conneaut (04120101)+, Buffalo-Eighteenmile (04120103)+, Oak Orchard-Twelvemile (04130001)+, Upper Genesee (04130002)+, Lower Genesee (04130003)+, Irondequoit-Ninemile (04140101)+, Seneca (04140201)+, Oneida (04140202)+, Oswego (04140203)+, Black (04150101)+, Upper St. Lawrence (04150301)+, Indian (04150303)+, Otter Creek (04150402)+, Lake Champlain (04150408)+
05 Middle New (05050002)+
10 Upper Musselshell (10040201)+, Middle Milk (10050004)+, Lower Milk (10050012)+, Prarie Elk-Wolf (10060001)+, Charlie-Little Muddy (10060005)+, Yellowstone Headwaters (10070001)+, Upper Yellowstone (10070002)+, Upper Yellowstone-Pompeys Pillar (10070007)+, Popo Agie (10080003)+, Upper Bighorn (10080007)+, Nowood (10080008)+, Greybull (10080009)+, Big Horn Lake (10080010)+, Dry (10080011)+, Shoshone (10080014)+, Upper Tongue (10090101)+, Lower Tongue (10090102)+, Middle Fork Powder (10090201)+, Upper Powder (10090202)+, Salt (10090204)+, Crazy Woman (10090205)+, Clear (10090206)+, Middle Powder (10090207)+, Little Powder (10090208)+, Lower Powder (10090209)+, Lower Yellowstone-Sunday (10100001)+, Rosebud (10100003)+, Lower Yellowstone (10100004)+, Upper Little Missouri (10110201)+, Boxelder (10110202)+, Antelope (10120101)+, Dry Fork Cheyenne (10120102)+, Upper Cheyenne (10120103)+, Lance (10120104)+, Lightning (10120105)+, Angostura Reservoir (10120106)+, Beaver (10120107)+, Upper Belle Fourche (10120201)+, Lower Belle Fourche (10120202)+, Redwater (10120203)+, Niobrara Headwaters (10150002)+, Upper North Platte (10180002)+, Pathfinder-Seminoe Reservoirs (10180003)+, Medicine Bow (10180004)+, Sweetwater (10180006)+, Middle North Platte-Casper (10180007)+, Glendo Reservoir (10180008)+, Middle North Platte-Scotts Bluff (10180009)+, Upper Laramie (10180010)+, Lower Laramie (10180011)+, Horse (10180012)+, Pumpkin (10180013)+, Lone Tree-Owl (10190008)+, Crow (10190009)+, Upper Lodgepole (10190015)+
14 Upper Green-Slate (14040103)+, Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir (14040106)+, Great Divide closed basin (14040200)+
17 Snake headwaters (17040101)+, Blackfoot (17040207)+, Lake Walcott (17040209)+, Little Wood (17040221)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Basic Description: A bird (woodpecker).
Reproduction Comments: In the southeastern U.S. and Ohio, nests generally are initiated in early May (Ingold 1989, 1994). Clutch size is four to seven (usually five). Incubation about 14 days, by both sexes. Young are tended by both parents, leave nest at about 27 days. Commonly two broods annually in south.
Ecology Comments: In Michigan, 52% of red-headed woodpecker nest cavities were usurped by starlings (Ingold 1989). In Ohio, 15% of cavities were lost to starlings (Ingold 1994). Woodpeckers do not necessarily incur a reduction in fecundity because they may be able to renest successfully later in the season, though this is not without its problems (Ingold 1994). High fidelity to breeding site--15 of 45 banded adults returned to previous year's nest area (Ingold 1991); one male moved 1 kilometer between breeding seasons (Belson 1998).

Summer territories 3.1-8.5 hectares (Venables and Collopy 1989); winter territories smaller (0.17 hectare to 1 hectare (Williams and Batzli 1979, Venables and Collopy 1989, Moskovits 1978).

Habitat Type: Terrestrial
Non-Migrant: Y
Locally Migrant: Y
Long Distance Migrant: N
Mobility and Migration Comments: Breeding populations in west and north move east and/or south for winter.
Palustrine Habitat(s): Riparian
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Suburban/orchard, Woodland - Hardwood, Woodland - Mixed
Special Habitat Factors: Standing snag/hollow tree
Habitat Comments: Open woodland, especially with beech or oak, open situations with scattered trees, parks, cultivated areas and gardens (AOU 1983). Nests in hole excavated 2-25 meters above ground by both sexes in live tree, dead stub, utility pole, or fencepost. Sometimes uses existing holes in poles or posts. Individuals typically nest in the same tree or cavity in successive years (Ingold 1991).
Adult Food Habits: Frugivore, Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Frugivore, Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats insects and other invertebrates, berries and nuts, sap, young and eggs of birds. Flycatches, forages on ground and in trees (dead wood) and shrubs. Animal food about 50% of diet. Rarely drills into trees for insects (Terres 1980). Caches food items in crevices. Young are fed insects, worms, spiders, and berries.
Adult Phenology: Diurnal
Immature Phenology: Diurnal
Length: 24 centimeters
Weight: 72 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary
Stewardship Overview: Widespread over much of eastern North America, southern Canada to Florida, west to Utah. Associated with mature, open woodlots, parks, riverbottoms, cultivated areas with scattered trees and snags. Winter migration to bottomland forest in some areas during years of low mast production. Declining over much of breeding range. North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data indicate the most serious declines in the Ozark-Ouachita Plateau, Ohio Hills, Northern Spruce Hardwoods, Great Lakes Plain, and the Southeast in general. It is the fastest declining cavity-nesting bird in Florida (Smith et al., in press). Main threat is nesting habitat loss due to the reduction in the number of dead trees and snags (Raphael and White 1984), loss of bottomland forest used for wintering (Conner et al. 1994). Management/preserve design need to consider habitats and practices favorable for production of a diverse size of snag/dead limbs, maintenance of open areas and low density ground cover for aerial and ground foraging, and mast production.
Species Impacts: Was a major agricultural pest in colonial America (Brewer 1853), but much less so today, due to extensive monocultures. Probably caused more agricultural losses when small fields alternated with woodlands (Skutch 1985). In some areas of the Midwest and South, reported to cause considerable damage to utility poles (Stemmerman 1988), but probably responsible for only minor damage on a large scale (Dennis 1964).
Restoration Potential: Probably good, provided adequate nesting and foraging substrates and good mast production areas are available. In the midwest, Brawn (1998) found population densities increasing in areas of oak savannah restoration.
Preserve Selection & Design Considerations: Preserves need to include woodlot fragments greater than 1.99 hectares (Gutzwiller and Anderson 1987) with a diverse size selection of dead limbs and snags, preferably in groups because birds require multiple snags for roosting and/or foraging (Conner 1976, Sedgewick and Knopf 1990). Open areas above and on the ground are needed for flycatching and ground foraging (Conner and Adkisson 1977). Preserves in longleaf pine savannah should encourage maintenance of a greater basal area of mature pines and numerous large diameter snags and logs (Shackelford and Conner 1997).

Open bottomland forest is extremely important as breeding and wintering habitat (Dickson 1978) and supports large wintering populations in some areas. The correlation of wintering numbers with mast crop abundance (Smith 1986) suggests a need to provide ample mast (e.g., acorns and beechnuts). In a Colorado study, a high density of medium sized trees were important for nest selection (Sedgewick and Knopf 1990), with open areas of 30 meters or greater around nest trees. (Jackson 1976). One model of nesting habitat suggests that fragment area and size of nearest streamside habitat were significantly related to probability of nesting in southeastern Wyoming (Smith et al., in press).

Management Requirements: Management in bottomland forest should include provision of a mature overstory where trees are left to die of natural causes to supply a sufficient number of small and large snags and logs. In some habitats, prescribed burning to deter pioneering hardwoods and remove ground cover could be utilized to maintain a savannah-like condition with increased aerial and ground foraging opportunities (Shackelford and Conner 1997). Preference for dead limbs as nesting substrates and sensitivity to management that reduces dead limb length suggest a need to maintain dead limbs on large living and dead trees in urban park-like areas and vacant lots (Sedgewick and Knopf 1990). Young trees could be planted in a temporal sequence to provide replacement trees in areas where natural replacement is reduced (Conner 1976). Will forage in clearcuts that retain hardwood snags and nest in ones with pine snags (Dickson et al. 1983). Partners in Flight suggests a patch size of 17,400 hectares to support a goal of about 500 breeding pairs. Will nest in artificial nest boxes. See Mitchell (1988) for specifications for the construction and placement of nest boxes.
Monitoring Requirements: Population fluctuations in response to mast production may make trends difficult to detect. Shackleford and Conner (1997) found a 71 percent increase in detection rate during 3-minute counts with use of a barred owl (STRIX VARIA) call.
Management Research Needs: Knowledge of size, species, bark condition, and decay conditions of nest and foraging trees and determination of forest structure that is conducive to snag formation could aid management (Conner et al. 1994). Nest success, effects of predation and the ecological relationships with other organisms are not well known. The demise of the American Chestnut and the widespread loss of Beech forests have deprived it of two historically important food sources. It may be a keystone species in certain ecosystems due to effects on cavity nesting animals and plant species composition (Smith et al., in press); its present reliance on acorns may have substantial importance for the dispersal of oak trees.
Biological Research Needs: This species has experienced major population highs and lows over the last several hundred years, making the current decreasing trends difficult to put in perspective. Are changes in land-use patterns negatively affecting the Red-headed Woodpecker? What are the impacts of removal of dead trees and branches from urban areas on this species? How does one assess the long-term health of an erratic species? The assumption seems to be that if the species is not here, then it most be somewhere else. Current population trends, however, would suggest that Red-headed Woodpeckers are decreasing dramatically throughout their range for some as-yet-to-be-determined reason. Gaps remain in our knowledge of the species' basic biology and ecological relations with other organisms (Smith, Withgott, and Rodewald, 2000).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Group Name: Woodpeckers

Use Class: Breeding
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: The high potential for gene flow among populations of birds separated by fairly large distances makes it difficult to circumscribe occurrences on the basis of meaningful population units without occurrences becoming too large. Hence, a moderate, standardized separation distance has been adopted for woodpeckers; it should yield occurrences that are not too spatially expansive while also accounting for the likelihood of gene flow among populations within a few kilometers of each other.

Be careful not to separate a population's nesting areas and foraging areas as different occurrences; include them in the same occurrence even if they are more than 5 km apart.

Territories generally smaller than non-breeding home ranges. Territories/home ranges: Red-headed Woodpecker, summer territories 3.1-8.5 hectares (Venables and Collopy 1989), winter territories smaller (0.17 hectare to 1 hectare (Williams and Batzli 1979, Venables and Collopy 1989, Moskovits 1978); Lewis's Woodpecker, 1.0-6.0 hectares (Thomas et al. 1979); Golden-fronted Woodpecker, summer ranges larger than breeding territories, ranging from 15.4 to 41.7 hectares (average 24.9, Husak 1997); Gila Woodpecker, pair territories ranged from 4.45 to 10.0 hectares (n = 5) (Edwards and Schnell 2000); Nuttall's Woodpecker, about 65 hectares (0.8 kilometers diameter; Miller and Bock 1972); Hairy Woodpecker: breeding territories averaged 2.8 hectares, range 2.4 to 3.2 hectares (Lawrence 1967); Black-backed Woodpecker, home ranges 61-328 hectares (Goggans et al. 1988, Lisi 1988, Dixon and Saab 2000); White-headed Woodpecker, mean home ranges 104 and 212 hectares on old-growth sites and 321 and 342 hectares on fragmented sites (Dixon 1995a,b); Williamson's Sapsucker, home ranges 4-9 hectares (Crockett 1975).

Fidelity to breeding site: high in Red-headed Woodpeckers--15 of 45 banded adults returned to vicinity following year (Ingold 1991); one adult moved 1.04 kilometers between breeding seasons (Belson 1998).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .2 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on a conservatively small home range of 3 hectares.
Date: 10Sep2004
Author: Cannings, S., and G. Hammerson
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 08Oct2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Jue, Sally S. and Dean K.
Management Information Edition Date: 03Dec1999
Management Information Edition Author: BROWN, B.; REVISIONS BY M. KOENEN AND D.W. MEHLMAN
Management Information Acknowledgments: The author thanks Kimberly G. Smith for providing valuable information and Allison V. Level and Diana Niskern for valuable library assistance. Support for the preparation of this abstract was provided by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation's Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Initiative, through challenge grant number 97-270 to The Nature Conservancy, Wings of the Americas Program. Matching funds for this grant were donated by Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 11Jan1995
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): HAMMERSON, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

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