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© Steve Vaughn/Panoramic Images (Florida Title Image Large)

Red-Cockaded Woodpecker

This small woodpecker can be distinguished by its barred, black and white back and wings, black cap and nape, and white cheek patches on each side of the head. The red “cockade” of the males is rarely visible. These birds inhabit open, mature pine woodlands where they roost and nest in cavities excavated in live older-mature pines. 

Red-cockaded woodpeckers can be found across Florida, generally occupying longleaf pine flatwoods in north and central Florida, mixed longleaf pine and slash pine in south-central Florida, and slash pine in south Florida. Ideal habitat lacks a midstory and generally has a high diversity of grass, forb, and shrub species. These habitats require frequent prescribed fire to maintain their suitability for red-cockaded woodpeckers

Florida has the largest number of active sites in the world but increasing fragmentation and incompatible management of appropriate habitat is a cause for concern. The red-cockaded woodpecker is listed as Threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Florida Natural Areas Inventory's Online Field Guide to the Rare Plants and Animals of Florida

Detailed descriptions, photographs, drawings, maps, habitat information, and management guidelines for more than 200 rare plant species and 150 rare animal species.

FNAI Field Guide for the Red-cockaded Woodpecker


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Red-cocked Woodpecker Recovery Program

The goal of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s red-cockaded woodpecker recovery program aims to conserve the species and the ecosystem upon which it depends.

USFWS Red-cocked Woodpecker Recovery Program


Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Red-cockaded Woodpecker Species Spotlight

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Species Spotlight website allows the public to learn about a selection of Florida’s most fascinating wildlife species.

FWC Red-cockaded Woodpecker Species Spotlight


Audubon Watchlist Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Audubon and the America Bird Conservancy have joined forces to rally conservationists around America's most imperiled birds. WatchList 2007 uses the latest available research from the bird conservation community along with citizen science data to identify 176 species in the continental U.S. and 38 in Hawaii that are in need of immediate conservation help. It is a call to action to save species fighting for survival amid a convergence of environmental challenges, including habitat loss, invasive species and global warming.

Audubon Red-cockaded Woodpecker WatchList

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