Induction of red-cockaded woodpecker group formation by artificial cavity construction

  • Published source details Copeyon C.K., Walters J.R. & III J.H.C. (1991) Induction of red-cockaded woodpecker group formation by artificial cavity construction. Journal of Wildlife Management, 55, 549-556.


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 replicated, controlled, paired site study from April-July in 1988-9 in 20 experimental and 20 control sites of nesting cavities in a forest reserve in North Carolina, USA (Copeyon et al. 1991) found that red-cockaded woodpeckers Picoides borealis used artificial nesting cavities significantly more than creating their own or using abandoned cavities. Woodpeckers were significantly more likely to occupy vacant experimental sites (nine occupied) than vacant control sites (zero occupied). Similarly, abandoned experimental sites were occupied more (nine occupied) than control sites (none occupied). Abandoned sites lacking artificial cavities were never occupied. The 18 experimental sites occupied corresponded to a net addition of 12 social units to the population. Out of six breeding pairs, four nested successfully, raising seven young, while 2 failed. Vacant (previously unoccupied) experimental sites (provisioned with two cavities) were paired with ten control (no cavities provided) sites and were matched in habitat characteristics. Similarly, ten abandoned experimental sites were matched with abandoned control sites.


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