The life of a red-cockaded woodpecker is rather different to that of other North American woodpeckers; its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is a social bird that lives in family groups of two to five individuals (4) (7). The red-cockaded woodpeckers in each family group roost and nest together (5), in cavities that have been excavated in ancient pines, often over 100 years old (2). Eggs are laid within a cavity from late April to early June (2), and all members of the family group may help in raising the chicks (4) (7).
The family group sometimes also searches for food together (5). When feeding, the red-cockaded woodpecker is an active bird, moving up and down trunks, along branches, and changing trees frequently, showing a preference for larger trees (5). It uses its chisel-like bill to pry off pieces of bark to search for insects beneath, leaving a trail of bark shards on the forest floor. Occasionally, this woodpecker may descend to the forest floor, where it progresses in short hops (5).