Nature preserve provides woodpecker habitat

Woodbridge Nature Preserve in Summerland was officially dedicated last week

A new nature preserve in Trout Creek will provide a habitat for a woodpecker species and an owl species.

The Woodbridge Nature Preserve, a one-hectare preserve off Nixon Road, was officially dedicated last week.

Alison Peatt, an environmental planner involved in the project, said it is a critical habitat for Lewis’s woodpecker and the screech owl.

The woodpecker species is declining in numbers, with fewer than 1,000 of the birds remaining in Canada.

Peatt said in the past, there were habitat areas for the woodpecker, but protected habitats are needed today.

The birds nest in older cottonwood trees. Often, these trees start to rot from the inside, providing a shelter for the woodpeckers.

“These types of habitat were once extremely common in the Okanagan,” Peatt said.

Screech owls also prefer the same habitat, she added.

She said the preserve is designed for the birds, and urges those who want to observe the woodpeckers to view them from the edges.

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