Thursday, 13 September 2007

Woodpecker signs: dust baths

Dust bathing is not common amongst woodpeckers, probably because of the essentially arboreal lifestyle that most lead, that is, most are reluctant to drop to the ground for any length of time. Indeed, some woodpeckers will not sit on the ground for any reason. However, as with bathing in water, it may be the case that dusting is practised by most woodpeckers but is rarely observed. Black Woodpeckers are known to dust bathe and the more terrestrial Wryneck and Green Woodpecker also occasionally indulges in this activity. Dust baths are often temporary and located on forest tracks. They can be recognised by wing, body and foot prints, though it is often impossible to assign these to one species.

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