Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) - Wiki
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[Photo] English: Red-headed Woodpecker. Canada Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. Image collected at the feeders behind the Visitor Centre. Fran??ais : Pic ?? t??te rouge. Parc provincial Rondeau, Ontario, Canada. Date 2007/05. Author Mdf http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Mdf
The Red-headed Woodpecker, Melanerpes erythrocephalus, is a small or medium-sized woodpecker.
Adults have a black back and tail with a red head and neck. Their underparts are mainly white. The wings are black with white secondaries. Non-birders often mistakenly identify the Red-bellied Woodpecker as this species.
Their breeding habitat is open country across southern Canada and the eastern-central United States. They nest in a cavity in a dead tree or a dead part of a tree.
Northern birds migrate to the southern parts of the range; southern birds are often permanent residents.
These birds fly to catch insects in the air or on the ground, forage on trees or gather and store nuts. They are omnivorous, eating insects, seeds, fruits, berries and nuts.
Once abundant, populations have seriously declined since 1966 due to increased nesting competition from starlings and removal of dead trees (used as nesting sites) from woodlands. Many Northeastern states no longer have nesting red-headed woodpeckers.
They give a "tchur-tchur" call or drum on territory.
In 1996, the United States Postal Service issued a 2-cent postage stamp depicting a perched red-headed woodpecker. The stamp was discontinued at some time thereafter, but re-issued in 1999 and remained available for purchase until 2006.
Interesting Red-headed Woodpecker Facts
The red-headed woodpecker is listed as a vulnerable species in Canada and as a threatened species in some states in the US. The species has declined in numbers due to habitat loss caused by harvesting of snags, agricultural development, channeling of rivers, a decline in farming resulting to regeneration of eastern forests, monoculture crops, the loss of small orchards, and treatment of telephone poles with creosote.
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