Woodpeckers frequently interact with other birds wanting to use the holes they have excavated, including other woodpecker species. Bent (1964) noted that Red-headed Woodpeckers (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) are particularly prone to engage in such interactions. However, Red-bellied woodpeckers appear to be somewhat less aggressive. Jackson (1976) observed a Red-headed Woodpecker chase away a Red-bellied Woodpecker one-hundred feet (30.5 m) from its nest, whereas a male Red-bellied took no action when a Red-headed came within a few feet from its nest. In interactions with either Red-headed Woodpeckers or European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), Ingold (1989) found Red-bellied Woodpeckers to be inferior competitors; starlings frequently take over the nest cavities.
Author: Larry F. Gardella
Volume Number: 43 Year Published: 1997
Issue Number: 1
Page Number: 44
Link to article: http://birdlife.aosbirds.org/1997/Vol. 43 No 1 1997_p44-48.pdf
Link to the full issue of BirdLife: http://birdlife.aosbirds.org/1997/Vol. 43 No 1 1997.pdf