'Mega-fires' may be too extreme even for a bird that loves fire

Fire is a natural part of western forests, but the changing nature of fire in many parts of North America may pose challenges for birds. One bird in particular, the Black-backed Woodpecker, specializes in using recently-burned ...

Chasing the elusive Magellanic Woodpecker

University of North Texas Ph.D. candidate, Amy Wynia, traveled more than 6,000 miles to Navarino Island in southern-most Chile to explore the forests in search of the Magellanic Woodpecker (Campephilus magellanicus), the ...

Study explores the possible benefits of cooperative polyandry

Acorn Woodpeckers live in close-knit family groups and have one of the most complex breeding systems of any bird in the world. In about 20 percent of family groups, up to 3 related females may lay eggs in the same nest. They ...

Study: Some woodpeckers imitate a neighbor's plumage

In the first global test of the idea, scientists have found evidence that some woodpeckers can evolve to look like another species of woodpecker in the same neighborhood. The researchers say that this "plumage mimicry" isn't ...

The birds who seek out Goldilocks fires

As wildfires become more prevalent and more severe, these 'megafires' are not only deadly and destructive, they may also negatively affect wildlife species that depend on habitat that lies in their wake, according to new ...

I used facial recognition technology on birds

As a birder, I had heard that if you paid careful attention to the head feathers on the downy woodpeckers that visited your bird feeders, you could begin to recognize individual birds. This intrigued me. I even went so far ...

Woodpeckers and development coexist in Seattle

The two largest woodpeckers in North America, the Imperial Woodpecker and Ivory-billed Woodpecker, are believed to have gone extinct during the twentieth century. Can their surviving cousin, the Pileated Woodpecker, persist ...

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