Manitoba Bird Bird Atlas: Species At Risk

Red-headed Woodpecker

Early Breeding and Last Migration Dates

South: Regions 1 to 8 Central: Regions 9 to 12 North: Regions 13 and 14
Early Breeding Last Migration Late Breeding Early Breeding Last Migration Late Breeding Early Breeding Last Migration Late Breeding
May-21 Jun-01 Jul-21

Breeding Evidence

Red-headed Woodpeckers excavate nests in large, dead or dying deciduous trees from 2 to 8 meters above ground. Family groups stay together until September, but may move. For this reason, this species can be atlassed well into August but care is required in discerning dependent young (code FY = fledged young, confirmed breeding) from immature birds that are capable of sustained flight (code at best H = habitat, possible breeding).


Breeding Evidence Map

Red-headed Woodpeckers are found in a wide variety of habitats, including open oak and beech forests, grasslands, forest edges, orchards, pastures, riparian forests, roadsides, urban parks, golf courses, cemeteries, as well as along beaver ponds and brooks. The open areas favoured by this species usually contain a high density of dead or unhealthy trees for roosting, and where holes can easily be made for nesting. They prefer woodlands where grazing cattle have removed the understorey. In Manitoba they are strongly associated with trembling aspen copses (less commonly other deciduous trees) that contain some standing snags and/or trees with dead limbs and a grazed or relatively open understorey, including treed cattle lots.

In winter, the Red-headed Woodpecker occurs mainly in open, mature woodlands, such as oak stands, oak-hickory stands, maple stands, ash stands, and beechwoods. The presence of this species in these various stands correlates with the abundance of acorns and beechnuts.

The Red-headed Woopeckers’ range in Manitoba lies south of the boreal forest, from the Souris River system in the west to the Whitemouth area in the east, extending northward to Hodgson, Dauphin, Meadow Portage, and Swan River.

-from COSEWIC and The Birds of Manitoba (p. 244)