Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Seasonal Change in Intersexual Niche Differentiation of the Three-Toed Woodpecker Picoides tridactylus

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1977
Authors:Hogstad, O
Journal:Ornis Scandinavica
Date Published:1977
ISBN Number:00305693
Keywords:Picidae, Picoides, Picoides tridactylus
Abstract:In winter, both sexes foraged almost exclusively in dead spruce trees, whereas in summer the females visited living trees of different species more frequently than the males. The females usually foraged higher up and in lower-growing trees than the males; this difference was greatest in winter. For both sexes mean foraging height was lower in winter than in summer; this difference was significant both between the sexes within any season and for both sexes in different seasons. Females foraged on trunks and branches of lesser diameter than did the males, especially in winter. It is suggested that feeding efficiency is maximized by such sex segregation in choice of foraging niche. The morphological dimorphism and niche segregation of the sexes are probably an adaptation to the near absence of other potentially competitive woodpeckers in northern coniferous forests.
Short Title:Ornis Scandinavica
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