|Endangered Species: Red-Cockaded Woodpecker
A Christiansburg Elementary Project
Submitted by Joshua of Christiansburg Elementary School
Christiansburg, Virginia, U.S.A.
|Original artwork by Joshua
This original report may be found
on the Radical
pages completed by the Web Weavers
of Christiansburg Elementary School.
Why Study This Topic?
I researched the red-cockaded woodpecker. I picked
it to research because it sounds interesting and I never heard of it before.
I looked for its habitat requirements, where it lives, and why it is endangered.
People need to be more careful and stop cutting down as many trees, try
not to mess with their nests, and do more studying on them. That is a lot
to ask but it could help save a species.
What Was Already Known
The red-cockaded woodpecker is endangered because
of loss of habitat. People cut down too many trees, and the woodpecker
can't find a place to live. They only live in eighty year old trees and
Search for Information
I only encountered a few problems in my research.
There was little information, and the papers I found were hard to read.
I searched in three different places.
Description of Plant or Animal
A woodpecker is 220 mm long, its wingspan is 45 mm,
and its tail is 76.2 mm long. It is shaped like an oval. It is zebra striped
with a black head, its flanks are black-flecked, and its white outer tail
feathers have black bars. The males have two red dots on the side of their
Red-cockaded woodpeckers live in clans. The clans
consist of two to four birds at the onset of the nesting season and four
to six birds after the young have fledged. There are three different kinds
of birds in a clan. The parents, the helpers and the juvenile fledglings.
Red-cockaded woodpeckers have eggs from April 23
to June 4. By the second week of May, each nest has two to five white eggs.
The male incubates the eggs at night for ten days.
The red-cockaded woodpecker eats worms, wood-boring
insects, berries, beetles, ants, moths, caterpillars, grasshoppers, crickets,
spiders, centipedes, millipedes, and pecans.
It gets its water from lakes, ponds, rivers, and
It lives in eight year old pine trees such as the
long leaf pine, the slash pine, the loblolly pine, and the shortleaf pine
in the south eastern U.S. The trees have little undergrowth. The red-cockaded
woodpecker needs at least one mile of space to live.
The entrance to their nest is five cm in diameter.
The nest is gourd shaped and is 30 cm deep. The red-cockaded woodpecker
makes holes around the nest so resin (sap) will come out and keep predators
Reasons for Endangerment
The red-cockaded woodpecker was put on the endangered
species list in 1970.
People are now taking more actions and precautions
to protect it. Almost every red-cockaded woodpecker clan is monitored with
cameras, tracked down where there might be members, tracked and recorded
numbers of how many offspring they have, observed for their activity, and
have all the trees marked that have members in them.
What Was Learned
I learned much about the red-cockaded woodpecker in
my search. I learned what they look like, what they eat, where they live,
and who their natural enemies are. I also learned why they are endangered
and what people are doing to help them.
Conclusions From Research
It was good for me to do this report, because I now
know why red-cockaded woodpeckers are endangered, and why other woodpeckers
are too. I also have more confidence in doing a big report, because I have
more experience, and I know how to do it better.
Return to Birds page.
If you would like to add to these Endangered Species
pages then email your contributions to Christiansburg
© copyright 1996 Christiansburg Elementary
Last updated on March 7, 1998