Threatened Woodpeckers and Habitats of California
Hoffman Room, The San Diego Foundation – Tuesday, September 20, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.
Presented by Stephen Shunk, Paradise Birding, P.O. Box 547, Sisters, OR 97759
The official California bird list includes 17 woodpecker species, 15 of which breed in the state—more than any other state or province in North America. However, 2 species rank as endangered by California Fish and Game (Gila Woodpecker and Gilded Flicker); and at least 10 species are listed at some level of conservation concern by Partners-in-Flight. As primary excavators, all woodpeckers play a keystone ecological role within their respective ranges. And, if we are concerned about woodpeckers, what happens to the other 20+ cavity nesters in California that depend upon woodpeckers to make their nest cavities? If the desert woodpeckers decline, what happens to the Lucy’s Warbler and Ash-throated Flycatcher? If the montane woodpeckers decline, what happens to the Mountain Bluebird and Flammulated Owl? Join Oregon naturalist and North American woodpecker specialist Steve Shunk for an expert analysis of woodpecker conservation issues in the state and the trickle-down impacts on California’s other cavity nesters.
Steve Shunk started birding in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989, and he moved to central Oregon’s “Woodpecker Wonderland” in 1997, where 11 woodpecker species breed annually in an area less than 1% of the size of San Diego. For the last 18 years, Steve has closely studied the woodpeckers of Oregon and across North America. He has carefully documented woodpecker use of burned forests in central Oregon; he recently spent three seasons as a field biologist studying Black-backed Woodpeckers in California; and he has traveled from Texas to Florida to observe eastern woodpecker species. Steve’s long-awaited Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers of North America was released in May 2016, and he now lectures and leads birding tours across North America and beyond.