Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
STATUS: Locally common to rare in parts of its range.
HABITAT: Prefers open pine or pine-hardwood woodlands, particularly burned-over areas or clearings where there are dead trees or old stumps. Virtually never found outside the coastal plain of the Southeast, or pine habitats.
SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Dead trees or stumps for nest excavation.
NEST: Excavates nest cavities in dead trees and stumps (often fire-blackened) or in posts or poles. Cavities are seldom over 13 feet high and usually less than 5 feet above the ground. Occasionally uses old woodpecker holes or natural cavities.
FOOD: Eats mainly insects in summer, foraging for food on tree branches and trunks. Mostly eats pine seeds in winter.
REFERENCES: Bent 1948, Norris 1958, Pearson 1936, Terres 1980.