We examined nest success and nest site selection of red-headed woodpeckers (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) in east-central Illinois. Overall nest success, estimated from a constant survival logistic-exposure model, was 56%. Cavities at greater height had greater success and daily survival rates increased with nest age. We also compared habitat variables at nest and random sites. Red-headed woodpeckers nested more frequently in snags than expected and habitat surrounding nest cavity trees had more cavities than habitat surrounding random trees, which were generally taller than nest cavity trees. Thus, the immediate preservation or creation of large diameter snags and snags high above the ground will likely improve nesting habitat and nest success of red-headed woodpeckers.
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Vol. 170 • No. 1