Our understanding of the migratory movements of Red-headed Woodpeckers is limited to mostly anecdotal accounts and has focused on variation in food resources (i.e., annual mast production) as the primary factor hypothesized to drive whether individuals or populations leave their breeding sites in autumn. As birds prepare to migrate, so begins the journey of the Red-headed Woodpecker. Determining the timing and distance of migratory movements, and sites used by Red-headed Woodpeckers outside of the breeding season are important for understanding their population dynamics, informing annual cycle conservation plans, and identifying the cues that may drive their migration patterns. Location data from the device indicate that this bird spent the next three months in the southeast corner of Iowa, near the borders of Illinois and Missouri, in a patch of dense forest a few miles from the Mississippi River. These birds are typically found in open forests, raising their families through a wide swath of the U.S., ranging from east of the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic coast. Red-headed Woodpecker. In the north, they are present only in the summer months during breeding season, and then travel to the southern part to spend the winter. Males will call and drum on a variety of surfaces with their beaks, reaching 19–25 beats per second. On September 7, the device recorded a location a few miles outside of Dubuque, IA. Photo by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren [] In On the Move, our regular column about migration, we present pairs of distribution maps from eBird that you can use to compare where interesting birds are at different times of the year.We featured Red-headed Woodpecker, pictured above, in our July/August 2019 issue. The Red-headed Woodpecker Ramps Up Its Fall Migration. Red-headed Woodpeckers breed in deciduous woodlands with oak or beech, groves of dead or dying trees, river bottoms, burned areas, recent clearings, beaver swamps, orchards, parks, farmland, grasslands with scattered trees, forest edges, and roadsides. Red-headed Woodpeckers are birds of pine and other open forests, tree rows, standing timber swamps and other wetlands in the eastern two-thirds of the U.S. and southern Canada. Well, at least some of them will be taking off for warmer climes. Thinkstock. They do not breed in Ohio, but rather they breed further north and then migrate south for the winter. As birds prepare to migrate, so begins the journey of the Red-headed Woodpecker. ​Red-headed Woodpecker Research and Recovery. During this bird’s journey south, the device recorded a location on September 4 a few miles west of Wyalusing State Park, along the Mississippi River. Until recently, all of the data showed that the birds we recovered devices from spent their winters in and around Cedar Creek. In general, facultative migration occurs in populations that experience seasonally fluctuating, but year-round food at breeding sites, but it can occur due to other factors such as weather events. Yellow-bellied sapsuckers have yellow-tinted bellies and males have red throats, while females have yellow throats. Prior to marking birds with these GPS tags we programmed GPS tags to record location estimates, once per week during the summer and winter months (May-August, December-February) and once every three days during the months in which we expected migration might occur (September-November, March-April). Diet: What Do Red-headed Woodpeckers Eat The red-headed woodpecker generally eats a higher percentage of carnivorous foods during springtime, while the mainly consume plant mater during winter. Formerly breeders of the UK, these magnificent birds have been known to periodically undergo … Get birding information, exclusive offers, and more! Photo by Hans Spieker. Red-headed Woodpeckers can be found throughout the central and eastern United States and southern Canada, in places where the habitat is right. It is a nomadic species, with periodic movements influenced by the yearly abundance of nuts, a favored winter food, rather than time of year. Flickers in the northern part of their range move south for the winter. Meanwhile, as the pairs go about their business choosing a suitable nesting site, they may make use of a male’s winter roost, or he may hollow out a new tree cavity. All rights reserved. You can attract these bird to your feeders by providing black oil sunflower seeds and by placing suet in your suet feeders. Red-headed Woodpecker. While the map shows known locations taken during the bird’s fall migration, the lines connecting these points are not representative of the bird’s path—birds do not fly entirely straight during migration afterall! Tracking Data Reveals Red-headed Woodpecker Migration. Rarely, they have sometimes migrated to Spain as well. A big, dashing bird with a flaming crest, the largest woodpecker in North America (except the Ivory-bill, which is almost certainly extinct). Excavating deep into rotten wood to get at the nests of carpenter ants, the Pileated leaves characteristic rectangular holes in dead trees. They also breed in Ohio as well. ... Red-headed woodpeckers are only found in Ohio throughout all seasons. In general, facultative migration occurs in populations that experience seasonally fluctuating, but year-round food at breeding sites, but it can occur due to other factors such as weather events. Each spring we attempt to recapture birds wearing these devices so that we can remove them (which are attached using harnesses made with strong ribbon) and download the stored data that shows where birds spent the non-breeding season. These birds are typically found in open forests, raising their families through a wide swath of the U.S., ranging from east of the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic coast. Red-headed Woodpeckers are primarily found in the eastern part of central United States, and in the southern regions of Canada. All rights reserved. This tells us that if adequate habitat, low understory, and food are present, the woodpeckers tend to cluster. It is a medium-sized woodpecker, brown with black spots and bars on their body and a white rump patch that stands out when the bird is in flight. The data from this bird’s device indicates that she left Cedar Creek between September 1–4, 2018 and arrived in southeast Iowa sometime between September 7–10, where she appears to have spent the fall and early winter. Woodpeckers that do migrate include the yellow-bellied sapsucker (which, as its name implies, is a big fan of tree sap), the northern flicker and the hard-to-find red-headed woodpecker…

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