Nest-site selection and niche partitioning among the Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major and Middle Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos medius in riverine forest of Central Europe

Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius) Science Article 2


We studied nest-site selection of the Great- and Middle Spotted Woodpecker inhabiting the riverine forest remnants of Central Poland. In addition to nest tree characteristics and location in relation to edge proximity, a comparison between nesting and random sites within the woodpeckers’ territories allowed a study of the importance of stand structure on nest tree selection. Unlike the Great Spotted Woodpecker, we found that the Middle Spotted Woodpecker showed an affinityto nest near forestedges.Both speciesexcavated nest holes within trees with a diameter at breast height larger than the diameter of avail- able trees suitable for hole-excavation. Trees with the presence of former woodpecker holes, polyporous fungi and limb holes were highly selected, with nest chambers com- monlybuiltin dead partsof thetrees(74%and 90%of nestsof Great- and MiddleSpotted Woodpeckers, respectively). Both the Great- and Middle Spotted Woodpeckers nested more often in trunks than in limbs, with the former species favouring live oaks and alders and the latter snags. Vegetation immediately surrounding nest trees had probably a low influence on species nest-site selection. The nest tree was, in the majority of cases, the only tree suitable for hole-excavation in the nest site. Our results suggest that gap-phase dynamics and the presence of old and dead deciduous standing trees are key components ofhabitatqualityforbreedingwoodpeckers,particularlyforthedecliningMiddleSpotted Woodpecker

Ziemowit Kosinski and Aleksander Winiecki, Ornis Fennica 81:145-156. 2004

Download article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *