Resource partitioning among three woodpecker species Dendrocopos spp. during the breeding season

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Food composition, prey size utilization and foraging behaviour of three sympatric woodpecker species (Dendrocopos major, D. medius, D. minor) were studied in an oak forest near Budapest during the breeding season in 1983 and 1984. Considering these three aspects of feeding, the great spotted woodpecker is a generalist species. Food composition of this species resembled the arthropod supply on the bark of trees more than those of the other two species. The bark of the trees seems to be a relatively unproductive microhabitat in the breeding season, so woodpecker species use, to different degrees, the food supply of the foliage as well. The food and the foraging behaviour of the middle spotted woodpecker show that this species feeds on prey living both on barks and in the foliage; it occupies‐an intermediate position between the great and the lesser spotted woodpeckers. Prey size did not correlate with predator size suggesting that woodpeckers adapted not to the summer resources but rather the winter ones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-264
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1990


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

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