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Foraging ecology of Nuttall's WoodpeckerAuthor(s): William M. Block
Source: The Auk. 108(2): 303-317..
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (1.03 MB)
DescriptionI studied relative abundances, foraging behavior, and foraging habitats of Nuttall's Woodpeckers (Picoides nuttallii# at three California locations. Population sizes at two areas in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada were larger than the population in the Tehachapi Mountains. These differences were attributed to habitat and weather differences. The two areas in the Sierra foothills had milder winters and contained large interior live oaks #Quercus wislizenii# and gray pines #Pinus sabiniana#, species used extensively by woodpeckers outside of the breeding season. The Tehachapi area contained few large interior live oaks and no gray pines. All areas contained blue oak #Q. douglasii), used extensively during breeding. Trees actually used for foraging at all locations and during all seasons were larger, on average, than those generally available. Birds foraged by lightly pecking, probing, and gleaning prey from branches <30 cm in diameter, although the exact methods and substrates varied by study area, season, and year. I found little intersexual variation in either foraging behavior or foraging habitat.
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CitationBlock, William M. 1991. Foraging ecology of Nuttall's Woodpecker. The Auk. 108(2): 303-317.
KeywordsPicoides nuttallii, woodpeckers, foraging, behavior, habitat, California
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