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We developed time-activity budgets for 286 Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers (Sphyrapicus varius) from October 2005/2006 to March 2006/2007 in east Texas bottomland hardwood forests. Behaviors were similar between genders and study sites (P > 0.05), but varied (P = 0.008) between years. Sapsuckers spent more time foraging upon arrival in wintering areas and during morning throughout the study periods. Deviation from monthly average low temperature was an important (P = 0.038) covariate during the second study year, when sapsuckers increased time spent foraging during colder than average temperatures and increased time perching on days with warmer than average temperatures. Sapsuckers partitioned about half their time foraging (early in the day) and half their time perching (later in the day). Sapsuckers may have little physiological need for drastic behavioral adjustments to successfully meet nutritional demands during winter in areas with mild climates.


Article appeared in The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 121(3):593-599, 2009



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