Habitat use of woodpeckers in the Big Woods of eastern Arkansas

Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
By: , and 

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Abstract

The Big Woods of eastern Arkansas contain some of the highest densities of woodpeckers recorded within bottomland hardwood forests of the southeastern United States. A better understanding of habitat use patterns by these woodpeckers is a priority for conservationists seeking to maintain these high densities in the Big Woods and the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley as a whole. Hence, we used linear mixed-effects and linear models to estimate the importance of habitat characteristics to woodpecker density in the Big Woods during the breeding seasons of 2006 and 2007 and the winter of 2007. Northern flicker Colaptes auratus density was negatively related to tree density both for moderate (. 25 cm diameter at breast height) and larger trees (>61 cm diameter at breast height). Red-headed woodpeckers Melanerpes erythrocephalus also had a negative relationship with density of large (. 61 cm diameter at breast height) trees. Bark disfiguration (an index of tree health) was negatively related to red-bellied woodpecker Melanerpes carolinus and yellow-bellied sapsucker Sphyrapicus varius densities. No measured habitat variables explained pileated woodpecker Dryocopus pileatus density. Overall, the high densities of woodpeckers observed in our study suggest that the current forest management of the Big Woods of Arkansas is meeting the nesting, roosting, and foraging requirements for these birds.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Habitat use of woodpeckers in the Big Woods of eastern Arkansas
Series title Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management
DOI 10.3996/112011-JFWM-065
Volume 3
Issue 1
Year Published 2012
Language English
Publisher U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 9 p.
First page 89
Last page 97
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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