Nature Conservancy have been videoing the courting and eventual birth today of the
first Red-cockaded woodpeckers at The Disney Wilderness Preserve.
These are the first hatchings since the 1970!.
Check out the video here.
The Red-cockaded Woodpecker plays a vital role in the intricate web of life of the southern and south eastern pine forests. The older pines favored by the Red-cockaded Woodpecker often suffer from a fungus called red heart rot which attacks the center of the trunk, causing the inner wood, the heartwood, to become soft. Cavities generally take from 1 to 3 years to excavate.A number of other birds and small mammals use the cavities, such as chickadees, bluebirds, titmice, and several other woodpecker species, including the Downy, Hairy, and Red-bellied Woodpeckers. Larger woodpeckers may take over a Red-cockaded Woodpecker cavity, sometimes enlarging the hole enough to allow Eastern Screech Owls, Wood Ducks, and even Raccoons to move in later. Flying Squirrels, several species of reptiles and amphibians, and insects, primarily bees and wasps, also will use Red-cockaded Woodpecker cavities.
In an effort to increase the Red-cockaded Woodpecker population, states such as Texas, Louisiana, and Georgia’s wildlife management is creating artificial cavities in Longleaf Pine trees. There are two methods in which wildlife management officers use to insert cavities in long leaf pines. The most respected and latest approach is to carve out a nesting cavity in the tree and insert a man-made nest. The older and less used approach is to drill a cavity into the tree in hopes that the birds will settle there and nest.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is also working to sustain this bird and its ecosystem with its Red-cockaded woodpecker recovery program . Today, the red-cockaded woodpecker is found in 11 states (AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, NC, MS, OK, SC, VA, and TX), and occurs on federal, state and private lands. Red-cockaded woodpeckers have increased in number range-wide in response to everyones recovery and management efforts, These birds are extinct in New Jersey, Maryland, and Missouri.
Video courtesy of Youtube.com /Defenderofwildlife.com
Excerpts courtesy of nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/florida
Excerpts courtesy of www.fws.gov/rcwrecover
Image and Excerpts courtesy of wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_cockaded_woodpecker