Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Image of Red-cockaded Woodpecker

The federally endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker is endemic to the southeastern United States, and Florida is its stronghold. This colonial woodpecker is a year-round resident and is easiest to find in mature pine forest near sunrise and sunset as they leave for or return from foraging bouts. Best viewing months are between April and July, when they are breeding. This species excavates cavities in living pine trees infected with red heart rot fungi. The fungus makes the center of the tree soft, allowing the woodpecker to excavate its nest hole. The Apalachicola National Forest in the panhandle is home to the state’s largest population. This species readily adopts special, artificial nest boxes placed inside pine trees, and in intensively managed areas, biologists often paint the base of nest trees with a ring of white paint to make the trees easier to locate.

Visit our Flickr site for more pictures of Red-cockaded Woodpeckers.

Recommended GFBWT sites:

Panhandle Section

West Section

East Section

South Section


Use our Trip Planning Wizard to find all the GFBWT sites where Red-cockaded Woodpeckers can be found.

Interested in becoming a FWC volunteer and helping conserve Red-cockaded Woodpeckers? Click here for details.

Are you a landowner interested in the Red-cockaded Woodpecker Safe Harbor Program? Click here for details.

For more information, including a range map and sound recording, visit The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds website


Bird's habitat

This species relies on pine forests that are kept open by use of prescribed burns; longleaf pine forests are preferred.

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