Mature or old-growth boreal and montane coniferous forests with an abundance of insect-infested snags or dying trees (Winkler et al. 1995, Goggans et al. 1988, Virkkala et al. 1994, Murphy and Lehnhausen 1998, Imbeau et al. 1999). Optimal habitat includes areas with 42-52 snags per 100 acres, with snags occurring in clumps, measuring 12-16 inches dbh and 20-40 feet tall, and mostly with bark still present (Spahr et al. 1991). Cavity nests placed in dead (occasionally live) tree (commonly conifer or aspen). Sometimes nests in utility poles.
Goggans, R., R. D. Dixon, and L. C. Seminara. 1988. Habitat use by Three-toed and Black-backed woodpeckers. Oregon Dep. Fish and Wildl. Nongame Rep. 87-3-02.
Imbeau, L., J. L. Savard, and R. Gagnon. 1999. Comparing bird assemblages in successional black spruce stands originating from fire and logging. Canadian Journal of Zoology 77:1850-1860.
Murphy, E. C. and W. A. Lehnhausen. 1998. Density and foraging ecology of woodpeckers following a stand-replacement fire. Journal of Wildlife Management 62: 1359-1372.
Spahr, R., L. Armstrong, D. Atwood, and M. Rath. 1991. Threatened, endangered, and sensitive species of the Intermountain Region. USDA USFS, Ogden, Utah.
Virkkala, R., A. Rajasarkka, R. A. Vaisanen, M. Vickholm, and E. Virolainen. 1994. Conservation value of nature reserves: do hole-nesting birds prefer protected forests in southern Finland. Ann. Zool. Fenn. 13:173-186.
Winkler, H., D. A. Christie, and D. Nurney. 1995. Woodpeckers. An identification guide to the woodpeckers of the world. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, MA.