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1 February 2013 Sap Consumption by the White-Fronted Woodpecker and its Role in Avian Assemblage Structure in Dry Forests
M. Gabriela Núñez Montellano, Pedro G. Blendinger, Leandro Macchi
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Abstract

The White-fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes cactorum) drills holes in branches and trunks to feed on sap flows, providing an energy-rich food resource for other birds. Here we describe ecological and behavioral traits of the White-fronted Woodpecker related to its sap-feeding habits in the semiarid Chaco of Argentina and explore the structure of the avian assemblage in relation to the sap resource. Sap consumption by the White-fronted Woodpecker and other sap-feeding species was strongly seasonal and positively associated with periods of resource scarcity. The White-fronted Woodpecker actively defended the sap wells from smaller birds. Specialist and facultative nectarivores that assimilate sucrose at a high rate represented an important proportion of sap-feeding birds. In this system of woodpecker, sap, and other sap-feeding species, each species' consumption depends on its physiological and behavioral characteristics as well as on the availability of other food in the surrounding environment.

© 2013 by The Cooper Ornithological Society. All rights reserved. Please direct all requests for permission to photocopy or reproduce article content through the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions website, http://www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintlnfo.asp.
M. Gabriela Núñez Montellano, Pedro G. Blendinger, and Leandro Macchi "Sap Consumption by the White-Fronted Woodpecker and its Role in Avian Assemblage Structure in Dry Forests," The Condor 115(1), 93-101, (1 February 2013). https://doi.org/10.1525/cond.2012.110175
Received: 21 October 2011; Accepted: 1 July 2012; Published: 1 February 2013
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