The red-headed woodpecker is a bird of the oak savanna, excavating nests in dead trees and dead limbs high off the ground. Although often occurring in loose colonies or clusters, the birds remain territorial and do not cooperate with other pairs in the area. When feeding, they will fly to catch insects in the air or on the ground. They also eat seeds, fruits and berries, and gather acorns to store. Once abundant, their populations have declined drastically, mostly due to habitat loss caused by removal of dead trees with large limbs. They also lose nesting habitat to European starlings, and sometimes die from collisions with cars when swooping low over roads while foraging.