Social Plasticity in the Acorn Woodpecker

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Science  22 Dec 1978:
Vol. 202, Issue 4374, pp. 1298-1300
DOI: 10.1126/science.202.4374.1298


Acorn woodpeckers (Melanerpes formicivorus) in southeastern Arizona exhibited two different types of social organization: one of highly cooperative and resident groups and another of birds that migrated and formed only temporary male-female pairs during reproduction. The occurrence of both patterns in the same population indicates a high degree of social flexibility in this species.