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1 September 2007 Nest Usurpation by Red-headed Woodpeckers in Southeastern Montana
William J. Kronland
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Red-headed Woodpeckers (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) occasionally usurp nests of other species. I compared incidence of nest usurpation in logged and non-logged treatments in a burned ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forest in 2004 and 2005. I predicted that usurpation would occur more often on logged than non-logged sites because Red-headed Woodpeckers tend to nest in more open habitats. Red-headed Woodpeckers nested more often and usurped a greater proportion of host species in logged (n = 6) than non-logged (n = 3) areas, despite host cavities being more abundant on the non-logged treatment. Usurping Red-headed Woodpecker pairs initiated nesting earlier ( = 12 May ± 2 days) than pairs that excavated cavities (18 May ± 2 days) which implies an existing benefit to offset the cost of interspecific conflict.

William J. Kronland "Nest Usurpation by Red-headed Woodpeckers in Southeastern Montana," The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 119(3), 486-489, (1 September 2007).
Received: 14 November 2005; Accepted: 1 November 2006; Published: 1 September 2007
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