Foraging Behavior of the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker in South Carolina

  • Authors: Hooper, Robert G.; Lennartz, Michael R.
  • Publication Year: 1981
  • Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
  • Source: The Auk

Abstract

Foraging Red-cockaded Woodpeckers (Picoides borealis) selected live pines (96% use; 71% availability) over hardwoods (1% use; 25% availability). Use of recently dead pines (3%) was the largest departure from use of live pines. Mast was rarely consumed, although abundant at times. Live pine stems greater than 23 cm in diameter at breast height represented only 19% of the available pines but received 65% of the use. The sexes exhibited strong divergence in foraging behavior. Most important was the partitioning of foraging sites on live pines. Males foraged on dead and live limbs of the crown and midtrunk 54% of the time and females only 4%. On the lower trunk, females foraged 38% of the time and males only 3%. On the midtrunk, females foraged 29% and males 12%. On the trunk-in-crown, females foraged 28% and males 32%. Mean foraging height of males was 14.1 m and that of females 8.7 m (P < 0.001). The sexes used tree sizes, tree types, and methods for capturing prey with similar frequencies. Within each sex, there were between-season differences in use of foraging sites and in methods used at each site.

  • Citation: Hooper, Robert G.; Lennartz, Michael R. 1981. Foraging behavior of the red-cockaded woodpecker in South Carolina. The Auk. 98(2):321-334.
  • Posted Date: March 12, 2020
  • Modified Date: March 17, 2020
  • 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.