Pair bond maintenance in Pileated Woodpeckers at roost sites during autumn
Individuals in a number of bird species have the opportunity to maintain contact with their mates during nonbreeding periods. This contact may be important to synchronize the partners' reproductive cycles before breeding begins. As a first step toward exploring the function of pair bond maintenance in non-breeding birds, I studied the behavior of three pairs of Pileated Woodpeckers (Dryocopus pileatus) and an unpaired male at roost sites during autumn. At dawn and dusk, paired individuals exchanged visual, vocal, and other acoustical signals identical to those given during the breeding season. Demonstration tapping away from a nest is reported here for the first time. The possible function of these behaviors may be related to monitoring the partner's condition and investing in the pair bond to enhance future reproductive success.
Kellam, James S., "Pair bond maintenance in Pileated Woodpeckers at roost sites during autumn" (2003). Faculty Articles Indexed in Scopus. 2119.