Woodpeckers in the Kisatchie

If you’re a bird lover, you know the story of the red cockaded woodpecker. The bird is on the endangered species list, and they live in the Kisatchie National Forest.

You might have seen and heard them in your own backyard. Bird watchers want to know more about them, including where they fly, what they eat, and especially, the best way to breed them.

That’s why biologists are climbing up to their nests to keep track of the baby birds.

“We have a really good growing large population here that we’re able to move young birds, surplus birds from here to other populations that are growing that don’t have as many, and in order to move those birds, what we have to do is make them distinguishable from the adult birds later in the fall when they’re out flying around, says Steve Shively with the U.S. Forest Service. “What we do is we catch the babies when they’re between 5 and 10 days old, and we band them with colored bands so that we can recognize them later with binoculars or spotting scopes, and catch them and move them.”

The banding is done every year. It doesn’t hurt the babies; biologists say they leave the nests alone. Experts say the national forest is perfect for the bird, which can be found all around the deep-south.

- KLAX ABC 31 News, May 24, 2013

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