Wesołowski T. 1995. Ecology and behaviour of White-backed Woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) in a primaeval temperate forest (Białowieża National Park, Poland). Die Vogelwarte 38: 61-75.
Data on numbers, habitat distribution, parameters of nest sites, reproduction, and social behaviour collected in 1975-94 in a strictly protected forest reserve are analysed. No signs of decline were found, 28-29 pairs (0.6 pairs/km2) bred there in 1991. Coniferous stands were avoided, deciduous stands, especially swampy stands with high content of dead wood, were preferred for nesting. All holes excavated in decaying wood, in riverine stands mostly in alders, in drier stands mostly in hornbeams and oaks, on average 17.2 m above the ground. Egg-laying commenced usually in the last days of March-beginning of April, but large temperature-dependent variation occurred. The clutch size was 3-4 eggs, nesting success 36 and 83% in two years. The difference was due to varying predation. Replacement broods after early loss possible. In response to play-backs of drumming both sexes reacted equally often in spring and autumn, indicating persistence of territorial behaviour beyond the breeding period.
Key words: Dendrocopos leucotos, primaeval temperate forest, habitat use, nest sites, nesting success, timing of breeding, social behaviour, woodpeckers