Date of Award

Summer 2018

Degree Type


First Advisor

Dr. Derek W. Rosenberger


The objective of this study was to determine the role of black oak savanna habitat on red-headed woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus) foraging behavior. Through the development of a foraging ethogram, the recording of foraging behavior times, and the collection of habitat data we were able to assess if any patterns existed between foraging and black oak savanna habitat. Comparison of our data in black oak savannas to that of others in woodland suggests that foraging behavior may differ between habitat types. Tree species did appear to impact the proportion of certain foraging behaviors, however further study is needed to more fully determine the effect of tree species and habitat on foraging behavior. This work is the first to quantify the foraging behaviors of this threatened bird in the critically endangered black oak savanna habitat and thus serves as a first step in investigating this community dynamic.


Research funded by the Ebert Pence and Fanny Boyce Undergraduate Summer Research Experience Grant