Friday, 4 January 2013

Social Woodpeckers

Many species of woodpecker are rather solitary, foraging and roosting alone and only interacting with others of their kind when breeding or when in dispute. However, some are social species, foraging in pairs or family parties, roosting together and even having cooperative breeding systems. Several species of Melanerpes and Colaptes in the Americas, Ground Woodpecker in South Africa and Great Slaty Woodpecker in SE Asia, for example, can all be regarded as social species. This picture shows Yellow-tufted Woodpeckers Melanerpes cruentatus a species that is always seen in noisy, gregarious groups. Pairs nest in close proximity to each other and nestlings are fed by the several members of the group. Photo: Peru, November 2012, Gerard Gorman.    

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