Not in the basin, but several years ago one overwintered in Lodi, and 
pre-eBird we had one at our feeder in Ovid very early one year - I can't 
find the date for that right now but at that time we only put feed out 
in winter and very early spring, generally not after mid-March.

Migration may be linked to food abundance. Bent reports in his species 
(keep in mind this reflects ornithological practices of 120 yrs ago):
> Winter: The red-headed woodpecker is generally considered to be a 
> migratory species throughout the northern portion of its breeding 
> range, but its movements seem to depend almost entirely on the 
> abundance or scarcity of its winter food supply, mainly acorns and 
> beechnuts; when these nuts are available in considerable quantities, 
> this woodpecker is to be found in reasonable numbers within its summer 
> range in the northern States. When Dr. C. Hart Merriam (1878) referred 
> to it as remaining occasionally in northern New York, Lewis County, in 
> winter, some of his ornithological friends were skeptical. He says:
>     I therefore wrote to my friend, Mr. C. L. Bngg, asking him to send
>     me a lot of red-headed woodpeckers as soon as possible, and in a
>     week's time received a box containing over twenty specimens,: all
>     killed in Lewis County and when the snow was three feet deep! This
>     was proof positive. Notes kept by Mr. Bagg and myself during the
>     past six years show that they were abundant here during the
>     winters 1871: 72, 1873: 74, 1875: TO, and 1877: 78; while they
>     were rare or did not occur at all during the winters of 1872: 73
>     and 1876: 77. Their absence was in no way governed by the severity
>     of the winters, hut entirely dependent upon the absence of the
>     usual supply of beechnuts. While the greater portion of nuts fall
>     to the ground and are buried beneath the snow far beyond the reach
>     of the woodpeckers, yet enough remain on the trees all winter to
>     furnish abundant subsistence for those species which feed on them.
At least for us (Ovid, Seneca Basin), this was an average even below 
average year for acorns, after a couple of years that were insanely 
productive.  Our few beech trees seemed also to be average at best. 
Would be interesting to know if that was different in the area around 
Elm Street extension.

On 3/1/2022 9:45 AM, Dave Nutter wrote:
> During the Great Backyard Bird Count an eBird report was submitted for 
> a Red-headed Woodpecker visiting a feeder on West Hill in the Town of 
> Ithaca. It’s a rare species, and fortunately the observer included a 
> brief but adequate identifying description. Jay McGowan also 
> personally verified the report on Sunday, as did I yesterday. This is 
> an area which has had Red-headed Woodpeckers reported in past years 
> from the southern part of Poole Rd, and from Elm St Extension east of 
> the Coy Glen Gorge, so I think there must be some attractive 
> habitat. I heard a “wheer“ call yesterday from woods on the N side of 
> Elm St Extension in that area. I also heard rattle calls when the bird 
> was at or near the feeder.
> The feeder is at the corner of Elm St Extension (a narrow road with 
> rather fast traffic), and Valley View Rd (a one block long residential 
> street). If you decide to drive there, I would recommend staying in 
> your car with it stopped on the end of Valley View Rd near the 
> intersection with Elm St Extension. I think there’s room for a single 
> car on Valley View not to block traffic, the feeders are visible from 
> there without staring at anyone’s house, and I think a stopped car 
> with no one getting out would not disturb the bird. The owner of the 
> house with the feeders is aware that people might stop by and is okay 
> with that providing it doesn’t disturb the bird.
> For those of you who consider the carbon footprint of birding, I’m not 
> sure whether driving to this location would be better than cruising 
> out to Trumansburg or stopping there on the way to someplace else when 
> those birds return, because Elm Street is a long steep ascent from 
> downtown Ithaca. It is a pleasant walk though.
> As I said, Red-headed Woodpecker is rare in our area, but it is even 
> more rare in winter. The other interesting bit of info provided on the 
> original eBird report was that the Red-headed Woodpecker has been 
> regularly seen at this feeder since 20 December. Most winter reports 
> that I’ve seen have been unique or sporadic, but I believe this would 
> be only the second documentation of Red-headed Woodpecker 
> overwintering at one location in the basin. The first was several 
> years ago in Cornell’s Parker Woods in Cayuga Heights next to North 
> Campus. That bird had cached acorns into bark crevices. Presumably 
> this bird has some additional food source than this suet feeder as well.
> The observer keeps a notebook and recorded seeing the Red-headed 
> Woodpecker as early as 2 January this year (which would have made it a 
> Count Week bird), so I have revised the 2022 Cayuga Lake Basin First 
> Records list.
> - - Dave Nutter
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