From the US Fish and Wildlife Service: Unlike other woodpeckers, red-cockaded woodpeckers roost and nest in cavities in living pine trees. The red-cockaded woodpecker requires older pine trees in which to excavate cavities. These older pines are more likely to have “heart rot”, a fungal disease that softens the heart wood of the tree, thus facilitating cavity excavation. Red-cockaded woodpeckers also require large, older trees for foraging. Such habitat is plentiful on the refuge, and forest management activities, especially in the last 40 years, have created more of it.
Visit: Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge