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Study Red-headed Woodpeckers: Citizen Science Opportunities


To learn more about red-headed woodpeckers, we rely on the help of citizen scientists to collect data during the major phases of woodpecker breeding and overwintering at Cedar Creek. Each phase of the red-headed woodpecker annual life cycle plays a role in their overall health and abundance. Data we gather will help us address key information gaps about red-headed woodpecker ecology and will inform efforts to restore their oak savanna habitats in Minnesota and the Midwest.


Since 2008, citizen scientists have monitored and conducted research in Cedar Creek’s oak savannas to learn more about woodpecker nesting and habitat preferences, breeding behavior and brood rearing. In some years there are also opportunities to collect data on foraging behavior, habitat characteristics, parental behavior and roosting. This project is particularly notable since red-headed woodpeckers are in decline throughout Minnesota and the rest of their range, but appear to be stable at Cedar Creek.

Citizen science projects are a great way for people of all backgrounds - scientific or not - to connect with nature and contribute to important scientific research on a regular basis. We are actively working on expanding our citizen science efforts and hope that you'll join us! Volunteering with us involves a training day as well as a regular commitment to collect data. This is a great opportunity to participate in scientific research and to earn hours you may need for Master Naturalist or similar volunteer programs.


Youth under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Contact Elena West ( to learn more.

Details on citizen science trainings as well as guided hikes and other special project events can be found on Cedar Creek's Upcoming Events page.

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