If we make red-head recovery a priority, we can be successful. In an oak-savanna restoration in Wisconsin, Red-headed Woodpecker populations increased five-fold after habitat was managed for red-heads.
Source: King, etal.
We can make a huge difference! The key is to provide the habitat that the red-head needs. Areas are needed with:
- Large trees
- A park-like low density of trees
- An open understory
- A good number of mast trees, producing nuts and acorns: oaks, hickory, beech.
- Good availability of trees with dead limbs or dead trees. That is, "wildlife trees".
Oak savanna photo from Baird Creek Preservation Foundation.
It becomes clear why this species was once considered "almost domestic." Except for the necessity to provide dead or decadent trees, their habitat requirements perfectly describe farmsteads, city parks, golf courses, and open parklands.