Downy woodpecker sexes select different cavity sites: an experiment using artificial snags

  • Published source details Grubb T.C. Jr. (1982) Downy woodpecker sexes select different cavity sites: an experiment using artificial snags. The Wilson Bulletin, 94, 577-579.


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 1980 in woodlots in Ohio, USA (Grubb 1982), found that downy woodpeckers Picoides pubescens were more likely to excavate cavities in artificial snags of intermediate height (242 cm tall, ten of 16 snags used), compared to tall (363 cm tall, five of 16 used) or small (121 cm tall, one of 16 used) snags. There was some evidence that males preferentially excavated holes in intermediate or tall snags, whilst females preferred small or intermediate ones. Snags were polystyrene cylinders, 22.5 cm in diameter, painted brown and mounted on metal poles.


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