suburban woodpeckers

Suburban Woodpeckers with John Marzluff

The Pileated woodpecker is one of the quintessential forest species where I live. Their red crest helps them stand out in a crowd and the charismatic pecking at dead trees characterizes them as “ecosystem engineers.” They jumpstart a patchy mosaic of forest succession, facilitate biodiversity and are key to the recovery of some forest ecosystems. Listen in on this discussion in the suburbs of Seattle with Dr. John Marzluff.

Dr. Marzluff is a James W. Ridgeway Professor of Wildlife Science at the University of Washington. His graduate and post-doctoral research focused on the social behavior and ecology of jays and ravens. He makes corvids cool. He continues this theme through his current research that focuses on the interactions of ravens and wolves in Yellowstone. Dr. Marzluff has mentored over 40 graduate students and authored over 140 scientific papers on various aspects of bird behavior and wildlife management. A couple graduate and doctoral students such as Jorge Tomasevic and Tina Bluitt notably worked to investigate the object of our discussion – the Pileated woodpecker.

Professor Marzluff is uniquely situated to speak about our topic. He has written five books and edited several others. His Welcome to Subirdia (2014 Yale) discovers that moderately settled lands host a splendid array of biological diversity and suggests ways in which people can steward these riches to benefit birds and themselves. His most recent In Search of Meadowlarks (2020 Yale) connects our agriculture and diets to the conservation of birds and other wildlife.

Below is the most recent paper that prompted me to reach out to Dr. Marzluff:

J Tomasevic & J Marzluff 2020. Roosting, reproduction, and survivorship of Pileated Woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus) in a suburban setting. Avian Conservation and Ecology 15 (1)

Find John on Twitter @subirdia

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