Key words: Colaptes auratus, Hairy Woodpecker, nest-site characteristics, Northern Flicker, Picoides albolarvatus, Picodes villosus, Pinus ponderosa, Ponderosa Pine, snags, White-headed Woodpecker
The Hairy Woodpecker (Picodes villosus) and Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) are primary cavity excavators that occur in a wide variety of forest types in North America (Ripper and others 2007; Wiebe and Moore 2008).
My goal was to evaluate how the White-headed Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, and Northern Flicker use managed Ponderosa Pine forests for breeding in Washington.
I used the same procedure for locating Northern Flicker cavities, with the exception of call playbacks, and I also checked cavities used by flickers in previous years due to their propensity for reusing cavities (Gentry and Vierling 2008).
The old-burn habitats examined in this study contained a unique community of cavity users dominated by three species of large-bodied weak cavity excavators, Northern Flickers, Red-headed Woodpeckers and Lewis's Woodpeckers.
Conversely, Northern Flickers are ground feeders and generally forage in open savannah like habitats (Moore, 1995).
The tendency of Northern Flickers to use lower cavities in this study may have been related to habitat selection or possibly interspecific interactions.
Northern Flickers are generally considered strong excavators (Moore, 1995), but in our study they choose to enlarge or reuse existing cavities more frequently than they excavated fresh cavities.