Date: 3/2/17 1:53 pm From: Daniel Lane <barbetboy...> Subject: Re: [LABIRD-L] LALIT: Red-headed Woodpecker declines
From a Baton Rouge standpoint, my own interpretation of local declines may have to do more with habitat. I have noticed that Red-headed Woodpeckers seem to prefer Water Oak for nesting, largely because that species of oak often has lingering dead limbs which must be of a soft enough wood for the woodpeckers to excavate. After a string of recent hurricanes, and the damage done by these widowmakers on houses, cars, etc., BR has had an aggressive program of removing the dead limbs, and indeed Water Oaks in general, reducing the available nesting habitat for the woodpeckers. Where I still see the bird in town is where I still see good amounts of Water Oak with dead limbs. Perhaps it is my bias playing a role in making this link, but I think that this may be a bigger player in the woodpecker's decline than Accipiter numbers.
Good birding, Dan Lane
-- Research Associate LSU Museum of Natural Science Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA