Translocation of red-cockaded woodpeckers by reciprocal fostering of nestlings

  • Published source details Wallace M.T. & Buchholz R. (2001) Translocation of red-cockaded woodpeckers by reciprocal fostering of nestlings. Journal of Wildlife Management, 65, 327-333.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Foster eggs or chicks of woodpeckers with wild conspecifics

Action Link
Bird Conservation

Translocate woodpeckers

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Foster eggs or chicks of woodpeckers with wild conspecifics

    A replicated, paired site study from April-July in 1997-1998 in 20 experimental and 18 control (containing 22 nestlings) red-cockaded woodpecker Picoides borealis nests in 5 forest sites in Louisiana, USA (Wallace & Buchholz 2001), found that fostered nestlings exhibited similar fledging rates to native nestlings in the same nests (85% of 20 fostered and 86% of 22 native nestlings fledged) and nestlings in control nests (68% of 22 control nestlings fledging). On average, fostered nests produced more fledglings than control nests (1.8 compared to 1.3 fledglings / nest). Feeding rates for fostered and native nestlings were similar. Cross-fostered nestlings were matched by age. Native and control nestlings were handled and returned to their native nests.


  2. Translocate woodpeckers

    A study in 1997-8 in Louisiana, USA (Wallace & Buchholz 2001), found that red-cockaded woodpeckers Picoides borealis translocated through fostering had similar fledging rates to native nestlings. This study is discussed in ‘Foster eggs or chicks with wild conspecifics’.


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