January 24, 2015

Red-cockaded Woodpecker



We have been in Florida this week and have had problems with internet access.

This is a life bird for me, the Red-cockaded Woodpecker.

They are best seen at sunrise or sunset. Not wanting to get up at 4 in the morning to drive to the location and be ready for sunrise we opted for sunset.

Picoides borealis

The Red-cockaded Woodpecker nests only in live pines. But, it often selects ones that are infected with the red heart fungus. The fungus softens the wood and allows the woodpecker to dig out a cavity. The live pine tree then "bleeds" pitch around the nest hole. The heavy flow of gum helps keep tree-climbing snakes away from the nest.

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