Red-cockaded woodpecker foraging behavior

Abstract

We studied Red-cockaded Woodpeckers (Picoides borealis) to examine the effect of status and gender on foraging behavior. Foraging behavior of breeding pairs extended beyond separation by foraging height to include zones (bole, trunk in crown, primary limb, secondary limb) of the tree used and foraging methods (scaling, probing, excavating). Helper males and juvenile females maintained partial spatial separation from breeding adults. Helper males maintained spatial separation from breeding adults by exploiting limbs within tree crowns in both longleaf (Pinus palustris) and loblolly-shortleaf (P. taeda, P. echinata) pine forests, but also increased use of boles in loblolly-shortleaf pine in concert with reduced use of boles by adult females. Breeding males tended to forage less by scaling, probably due to the reduced proportion of foraging on boles of trees where scaling tends to predominate.

  • Citation: Rudolph, D. Craig; Conner, Richard N.; Schaefer, Richard R.; Koerth, Nancy E. 2007. Red-cockaded woodpecker foraging behavior. Wilson Journal of Ornithology. 119(2): 170-180.
  • Posted Date: September 20, 2007
  • Modified Date: July 31, 2009
  • Print Publications Are No Longer Available

    In an ongoing effort to be fiscally responsible, the Southern Research Station (SRS) will no longer produce and distribute hard copies of our publications. Many SRS publications are available at cost via the Government Printing Office (GPO). Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, printed, and distributed.

    Publication Notes

    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
    • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.