Foraging behaviour of the Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) in the Białowieża National Park
Comparison of breeding and non-breeding seasons
Keywords:Białowieża Forest, primeval forest, resource selection, foraging site selection
Although the Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) is the most common of the European woodpecker species, there are no studies detailing its foraging behaviour in the breeding and non-breeding seasons. Our research, conducted in the primeval oak-lime-hornbeam forest of the Białowieża National Park in 1999–2011, compared foraging sites and foraging techniques used by this species in these two seasons. Great Spotted Woodpecker predominantly foraged on standing trees, while lying trees and the ground were occasionally used as foraging sites, but almost exclusively in the breeding season. European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) and small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata) were the most frequently used for foraging in the breeding season, whereas Norway spruce (Picea abies) and pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) were used in the non-breeding season. Great Spotted Woodpecker foraged more frequently on dead and large trees in the non-breeding season. In the breeding season, Great Spotted Woodpecker collected food mainly from living substrates, predominantly sites on large diameter trunks and at low height, while in the non-breeding season it collected food from thin, dead and upper branches. Searching for food and gleaning it from the tree surface was the most common foraging technique used in the breeding season, whereas seed extraction from cones dominated in the non-breeding season. The percentage of foraging time spent on this type of food was positively correlated with the index of Norway spruce seed production. Our study showed that the foraging behaviour of the Great Spotted Woodpecker in the two seasons differs significantly due to changes in food resources.
- 2023-03-31 (2)
- 2023-02-03 (1)
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Copyright (c) 2022 Tomasz Stański, Marzena Stańska, Dorota Czeszczewik
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.