Red-cockaded woodpeckers are birds found exclusively in pine forests, especially ones with an abundance of longleaf pines.
|Scientific Name||Leuconotopicus borealis|
|Also Known As||Carpintero cara blanco (Spanish), Pic a face blanche (French)|
Size: 7.1-9.1 in (18-23 cm)
Weight: 1.4-2 oz (40-56 g)
Wingspan: 13-16 in (34-41 cm)
Bill length: 0.75-0.91 in (1.9-2.3 cm)
Color: Belly and breast are gray with black spots on the edges, sides of the face have large patchy white feathers, black bill with gray feathers at its base
|Distribution||Southeast of the United States|
|Habitat||Found in mature pine forests, they prefer longleaf pines the most|
|Communication||At least 20 distinct calls are used to communicate with each other, for example, ‘churts’, ‘sklits’, ‘kweek’, she–uuu’, and ‘wicka’ are all used for specific purposes|
|Lifespan||Information inadequate, however, one individual was banded in Louisiana in 1984 and died in 1999, thus it lived for at least 16 years|
|Diet||Being insectivores, they primarily eat beetles, ants, larvae; they also eat fruits and seeds|
|Predators||Rat snakes and corn snakes prey on this bird|
|IUCN Conservation Status||Near Threatened|
Red-cockaded woodpeckers are diurnal, being active throughout the day, involved in foraging for foods, self-maintenance, and flying. They are a non-migratory species. They live in family groupings consisting of up to 5 individuals. All members of this group may help the breeding pair in incubating the eggs and raising the young once they hatch.
Mating & Reproduction
These birds are monogamous. The courting process sometimes can last up to a year. The breeding season is usually between April and June. A clutch consisting of up to 5 eggs is laid, at a rate of one egg per day. The incubation period lasts for around 10 to 12 days.
Hatchlings are born with a weight of around 0.12 oz (3.3 g). Feathers appear after 4 days of hatching. Their eyes open after 10 days and eventually they fledge after around 26 days of birth. They are entirely independent within 4-6 months. They reach sexual maturity at 8 months of age.
- This bird is one of the most studied woodpeckers in the world.
- Male red-cockaded woodpeckers have a red streak on either side of their black head; this is called a cockade, earning them the name.
- Another accepted scientific name for this bird is Picoides borealis.
- There is an estimated population of around 12,500 individuals at present.
Published on June 28th 2017 by Sudipto Chakrabarti under Coniferous Forest Animals.
Article was last reviewed on 21st March 2023.
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