Picoides Borealis LbNA # 20847
|Placed Date||Mar 11 2006|
**5-25-07 box has been placed in a new location. The clues on this page reflect the new location.**
**Temporarily pulled 9-21-06 due to road widening and tree cutting activities close to its location. As of 2-16-07, still unsafe to replace box.**
The Red-Cockaded Woodpecker's Latin name is Picoides borealis, but the common name came into use during the early 1800's when "cockade" was regularly used to refer to a ribbon or other ornament worn in a hat. Juvenile males have a red "patch" in the center of their black crown which disappears during the fall of their first year. Only mature male birds sport the red cockade. Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers are an endangered species which prefer mature, open canopied pine stands with a low ground cover of grasses. The wildlife managers of Sam Houston National Forest have cleared the area in front of you of hardwoods and thick brush to encourage use by Red-cockaded woodpeckers. Because southeastern pine forests are a fire-dependent system to which the bird is adapted, fire is used in a controlled way to disturb and manage the habitat. The woodpeckers drill holes in healthy pines which can be identified by the oozing pine sap. Since they drill new holes each year, the abandoned holes are often used by other birds as nesting places, providing an important environmental service to the forest.
From U. S. 59 just north of Cleveland, Texas, take the Coldspring exit, F. M. 2025 north for about 14 miles. Look for a parking area for the Lone Star Trail on your right, pull in and park.
Walk through the opening in the fence near the information board. Take the trail to the left through the hiker's gate. This trail goes back to the highway and crosses it, but before you get that far, you'll see a trail marker which is a 6 ft. tall 4x4 post in the middle of the trail. From this post, travel 10 steps in the direction you were going, then look for a small crooked sweet gum tree on the right about 8 steps off the trail, standing about halfway between 2 larger trees. Picoides Borealis is perched on the far side of that tree about 5 feet off the ground. The box is held in place by a velcro strap. Please replace the strap as you found it so the box will stay on the tree. Underbrush is sometimes burned in this area and if the box is on the ground, it won't survive. Thanks. Holy Anole, Shoofly and The Joker are also residents of this trail.