Influence of cavity availability on red-cockaded woodpecker group size

  • Published source details Carrie N.R., Moore K.R., Stephens S.A. & Keith E.L. (1998) Influence of cavity availability on red-cockaded woodpecker group size. The Wilson Bulletin, 110, 93-99.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial nesting sites for woodpeckers

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide artificial nesting sites for woodpeckers

    A before-and-after trial in a longleaf pine Pinus palustris forest in Louisiana, USA (Carrie et al. 1998), found that the number of groups of red-cockaded woodpeckers Picoides borealis with breeding pairs increased from 22 (68% of all groups) to 28 (93%) between 1993 and 1995, following the installation of 44 artificial nesting cavities in 1993-5 (55 cavities were already available in 1993). In 1993-5, the number of groups in the area decreased from 33 to 30, but average group size increased, as did the number of groups with helpers and the number of cavities occupied. Most breeding males (77% of 30 birds) continued to use natural cavities, but 71% of 28 breeding females and 65% of 23 helper birds used artificial cavities. Cavities consisted of wooden boxes 10 x 15 x 25 cm with 4.5 cm diameter, 6.5 cm long entrance tunnel and a cylindrical 20 cm x 7.5 cm diameter cavity inside. Cavities were inserted into holes carved out of live pine trees, at either 4 or 7.5 m above ground.


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