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Reproductive Behavior of Hairy Woodpeckers I. Pair Formation and Courtship

Lawrence Kilham
The Wilson Bulletin
Vol. 78, No. 3 (Sep., 1966), pp. 251-265
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4159500
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Reproductive Behavior of Hairy Woodpeckers I. Pair Formation and Courtship
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Abstract

Observations on Hairy Woodpeckers indicate that the breeding season begins in January when the male starts coming to the female's territory, in which nesting eventually takes place after nearly 3 months of preliminary courtship. Courtship activities vary in extent and pattern from pair to pair. The basic forms are precopulatory behavior, intimate notes, display flights, duets of drumming, and tapping before symbolic or potential nest sites, in all of which the female often takes the lead. As nest holes near completion in late April, males take the lead in copulatory behavior, often drumming to attract their mates. Two pairs of Hairy Woodpeckers which nested in adjacent territories in 1964 and 1965 are described in detail to bring out differences in behavior which may occur among individuals. A final discussion centers on the comparative behavior of woodpeckers.

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