The three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) is an uncommon resident in the northern part of BCR 14. It prefers mature to overmature spruce-fir forest with a component of standing dead trees used for foraging and nesting. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more states in BCR 14.

Habitat Needs

This bird prefers relatively large tracts of mature or over mature spruce-fir with a component of standing dead trees. It also uses stands of larch. In the past, spruce budworm outbreaks that cause significant mortality in fir and spruce provided usable habitat. Spruce and fir at higher elevations where logging activity is limited provides usable habitat, especially where “fir waves” (bands of fir mortality at higher elevations) occur. Live or dead trees with decay columns are preferred for nesting cavities.

Habitat Management Practices

Maintain significant areas of spruce-fir in a mature or over mature condition.

When assessing properties for habitat potential, look for strong spruce-fir producing soils such as Bemis, Binghamville, Grange, Kinsman, Leicester, Lyme, Mashpee, Monarda, Moosilauke, Naunburg, Pemi, Pillsbury, Raynham, Raypol, Ridgebury, Roundabout, Scantic, Scitico, Shaker, Squamscott, Stissing, Swanton, Wareham or Walpole.

Silvicultural Practices

  • Use uneven-age management. Group selection with groups ranging from 1/10 to 2 acres.
  • Use a 90-year rotation age with entries every 15 years.
  • Let 10 percent of the area of this type age to 120 years before rotating.
  • Avoid entry during nesting season—April to June.
  • Whole-tree harvest or cut-to-length is preferred.

Additional Information