During your next visit to the Sam Houston National Forest, be sure to stop by one of the sites developed to help demonstrate the continuing efforts made to save the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW).
The RCW was declared an endangered species in 1970, and currently we are rebuilding the population. To accomplish that, we're doing a number of things, including removing hardwoods which inhibit their foraging, thinning and burning within clusters to provide the special park-like condition the birds need, and installing artificial cavities in trees in areas where we think the population can thrive.
The red-cockaded woodpecker is a mid-sized bird, almost identical in size to a cardinal, and a small red patch behind the eye of the male gives it its name. The best time to catch a glimpse of the bird is at sunrise or sunset. That's when the birds are entering or leaving their roosts.
Directions from Various sites: One RCW site is on FM 1375, about 5.5 miles west of I-45, and showcases a 35-acre cluster with more than 20 cavity trees. If you're visiting Stubblefield Lake Campground via FS 215, you can stop by another site, a 30-acre cluster with 15 cavity trees. This stand is actually two clusters, but not as easily accessible as the first site mentioned. At a third site, there is a paved pullout and bench. This site is located on FM 2025 about 200 yards south of the intersection of FM 2666. This area is a very popular site and gets many visitors.