Initial searches were aimed at the discovery of RHWO pairs, previously excavated cavities, and potential nesting locations.
No RHWO nests were located within these circular plots or within 50 m of the centers of these plots.
Further examination of RHWO nesting sites is needed to more completely understand the specific characteristic(s) necessary for the excavation of a suitable cavity.
Our results showed the importance cavity height played in nest success, and RHWO's propensity to nest in short snags (although nest success decreased).
The study sites ranged in size from 2.0-835.3 ha ([bar.x] = 156.8 ha) and were selected because earlier observations indicated the presence of RHWOs.
We considered a nest active if adult RHWOs were observed on the nest tree or snag, bringing food to the nest cavity, or if we could see or hear nestlings.
Of the random trees sampled, 100% were alive (n = 27), but only 48.1% (n = 13) of nesting attempts by RHWOs occurred in living trees.
We found similar nest success between other habitats and golf courses (similar to Rodewald et al., 2005) suggesting that these can be important secondary habitats for RHWOs. We also found that RHWOs preferentially nested in snags surrounded by trees with high numbers of cavities and other snags.