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Snag Condition and Woodpecker Foraging Ecology in a Bottomland Hardwood ForestAuthor(s): Richard N. Conner; Stanley D. Jones; Gretchen D. Jones
Source: Wilson Bull., 106(2), 1994, pp. 242-257
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionWe studied woodpecker foraging behavior, snag quality, and surrounding habitat in a bottomland hardwood forest in the Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest from December 1984 through November 1986. The amount and location of woodpecker foraging excavations indicated that woodpeckers excavated mainly at the well-decayed tops and bases of snags. Woodpeckers preferred to forage on oaks (Quercus spp.) (snags and live trees) whereas blue beech (Curpinus caroliniana) and red maple (Acer rubrum) were used less than expected. Snags used for foraging excavations were generally 3-10m in height, mainly located in older stands, and lacked bark at excavated foraging sites. In the bottomland habitat, Downy Woodpeckers (Picoides pubescens) foraged on smaller diameter substrates and used more tree species than other woodpecker species. Pileated Woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus) foraged either near the ground or in the upper zones of trees. Red-bellied Woodpeckers (Melonerpes cnrolinus) used a restricted range of tree diameters and locations in trees. Red-headed Woodpeckers (M. erythrocephalus) used the greatest diversity of foraging methods and foraged on the largest range of tree diameters.
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CitationConner, Richard N.; Jones, Stanley D.; Jones, Gretchen D. 1994. Snag Condition and Woodpecker Foraging Ecology in a Bottomland Hardwood Forest. Wilson Bull., 106(2), 1994, pp. 242-257
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