Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Relations between Lewis' and Red-Headed Woodpeckers in Southeastern Colorado

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1971
Authors:Bock, CE, Hadow, HH, Somers, P
Journal:The Wilson Bulletin
Date Published:1971
ISBN Number:00435643
Keywords:Melanerpes, Melanerpes erythrocephalus, Picidae
Abstract:Lewis' and Red-headed woodpeckers for the first time were recorded nesting sympatrically, on the plains of southeastern Colorado. There was habitat overlap, although the Lewis' Woodpeckers nested primarily in farmlands while Red-headed Woodpeckers were more common in riparian woodland along the Arkansas River. Two pairs which nested within 35 meters of each other in 1969 and again in 1970 were interspecifically aggressive and territorial. Analysis of breeding vocalizations indicated that, with the exception of the Lewis' Woodpecker alarm note, the two species have functionally equivalent and in some ways structurally similar vocal repertoires; these consist of one call given only by males which advertises territory and nest site to rivals and mates, and a second type of call probably given by both sexes connoting general aggressivity during intra- and interspecific encounters. It seems certain that the interspecific aggression shown by these species is a direct result of competition for shared resources and not similarity of territorial defense behaviors.
Short Title:The Wilson Bulletin
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