Birds of Indian Subcontinent

The effect of social dominance on foraging by the Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1991
Authors:Hogstad, O
Date Published:1991
ISBN Number:1474-919X
Keywords:Picidae, Picoides, Picoides tridactylus
Abstract:During the winter, female Three-toed Woodpeckers Picoides tridactylus, when unaccompanied by the male, foraged at a lower height above the ground and on tree trunks of greater diameter than when foraging together with a male. Among males, however, no such differences were found between those birds foraging in the absence of, or in company with, a female. The niche breadth of the males was less than that of the females, indicating a higher degree of specialization by the males. The niche overlap between the sexes was less when the birds foraged together in pairs, especially as regards foraging height and foraging site diameter. The intersexual segregation of foraging niche recorded for the Three-toed Woodpecker is therefore probably not determined genetically, but is due to social dominance by males which obliges the females to occupy the less preferred niche. Both sexes spent less time being vigilant when foraging together, than when alone.
Short Title:Ibis
Taxonomic name: 
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith