Lewis’s Woodpecker Project

Help report Lewis’s Woodpecker sightings in Central Colorado

We need your help! Central Colorado Conservancy has been awarded a grant from Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology to record old-growth cottonwood habitat usage by Lewis’s Woodpeckers. We are asking for your help to record as many sightings as possible. Through this data gathering and research, the Conservancy aims to conserve old-growth cottonwood habitat and Lewis’s Woodpecker populations throughout our six-county service area in Central Colorado. We are interested in all sightings, whether they occur in a cottonwood habitat, ponderosa, pinyon-juniper, aspen, or at your bird feeder.

Why is this important?

In Central Colorado, old-growth cottonwood provides needed nesting components for Lewis’s Woodpeckers. This habitat also provides many necessary requirements for numerous other species of wildlife. Little or no data collection has occurred in this region related to Lewis’s Woodpeckers. Species populations have declined across the west by 67 percent, according to Partners in Flight. This species is listed on the Intermountain West Join Venture priority species list, Partners in Flight as a species of continental concern, and as a species of greatest conservation concern on the Colorado State Wildlife Action Plan.

About Lewis’s Woodpeckers

Head, back, wings, and tail are metallic greenish-black. The collar and breast are gray and the belly is pinkish-red. The face is dark red framed in greenish-black. Male and females look alike. Juveniles are more brownish-black on back, lacking extensive gray, red, and pink coloration of adults, but colorings can be highly variable.

Exciting data collection!

All sightings recorded will be entered into Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology eBird database. This database is a world-wide collaboration for birders and researchers to enter data to track current population trends, migrations, rare sightings, etc. to aid in important research and conservation.

How to enter my sighting in eBird:

1. Go to www.eBird.org

2. Click on “submit observations”

3. Log in (if you have an account) or create an account if you do not already have one with the Cornell Lab.

4. Before beginning data entry, make sure you know the name you will use for the location (or make one up). The name should be the location name and the Central Colorado Conservancy code. REMEMBERING THE CODE IS VERY IMPORTANT. It allows us to easily track the data. The code is LEWO followed by a location name (LEWO stands for Lewis’s woodpecker). For example: LEWO-Brown’s Campground.

5. Step 1 of data entry is plotting your location. Type “Colorado” in the “Find it on a Map” search box and it will open a map of Colorado. You can pan the map and zoom in (or type a nearby town or other landmark in the “Zoom to” box at the top of the map, which is where the cursor starts. Zoom and pan to the correct location and left click with your mouse to plot your location and give your survey point a name.

You can also type your latitude and longitude in the “Zoom To” box in this format — “37.73329,-105.51216” — and be sure that your longitude is negative. This will plot a point on the map that you can check.

6. Step 2 of data entry is where you enter date, time, and effort information. Please indicate your “observation type” (traveling, historic, stationary, etc.) if your survey was a “Traveling Count” and enter the date, start time, duration, and an estimate of miles (or kilometers) traveled while searching this specific site for woodpeckers.

Be sure to enter “LEWO survey” as the first words in the “comments” section. It is very important that you enter this correctly. Then please also enter the type of habitat (i.e., cottonwood, pinyon, ponderosa, bird feeder).

7. Find Lewis’s Woodpecker on the list by typing “lewo” or “Lewis’s Woodpecker” in the “Jump to Species” box. If the species does not appear it is because it is considered rare in the area, so just click the big green “Add species” button that appears and try re-typing the name. Once you find Lewis’s Woodpecker on the list, type in a number for the number of woodpeckers observed. If you identified other species, entering counts (or simply an “x” to indicate presence) for those helps eBird accurately track other species.

8. And you’re done!

If you would rather use a form, print out Central CO Cons Data sheet tier 1, and mail to Central Colorado Conservancy PO Box 942, Salida, CO 81201 or come into the Conservancy Office to pick up a form located at 128 East 1st St. (upstairs), Salida, Colorado. Forms can also be scanned and emailed to mainrange21@yahoo.com.

Detailed Surveying

We are looking for volunteer surveyors to visit potential habitat and look for Lewis’s Woodpeckers while collecting additional data to enhance our research. If you are interested, please contact program coordinator and Wildlife Biologist Cindy Lawrence at mainrange21@yahoo.com for more information and to find out about upcoming training workshops.

Thank you for participating in the Conservancy’s Lewis’s Woodpecker Project!