Woodpecker excavation and use of cavities in polystyrene snags

  • Published source details Conner R.N. & Saenz D. (1996) Woodpecker excavation and use of cavities in polystyrene snags. The Wilson Bulletin, 108, 449-456.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial nesting sites for woodpeckers

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide artificial nesting sites for woodpeckers

    A replicated trial in 1986-91 in five forest types in Texas, USA (Conner & Saenz 1996), found that downy woodpeckers Picoides pubescens excavated cavities in all ten artificial snags installed in upland hardwood forest, and 13 of 17 snags provided in pine-hardwood habitats. However, they did not use any of ten artificial snags installed in pine-only forest, whilst ten in bottomland hardwood forest were not used in 1989, after which they were washed away in floods. Downy woodpeckers did not use snags for nesting and none of the other six woodpeckers in the area used the snags at all. Snags were brown-painted polystyrene cylinders, 26 cm in diameter, 242 cm tall and mounted on iron posts.


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