Dew-bathing in the atlantic forest endemic robust woodpecker campephilus robustus (Lichtenstein, 1823) (Aves: Picidae)

Paul Smith, Kevin P. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The bathing behavior of woodpeckers (Picidae) is almost unknown and the paucity of reports of bathing in the family has led to suppositions that they may do so rarely. An unusual observation of the Atlantic Forest endemic Robust Woodpecker Campephilus robustus dew-bathing socially is reported from Paraguay and discussion of its significance follows. Dew-bathing has been reported for a small number of New World bird families and has often been linked to a shortage of water, but has never been previously reported in New World Picidae. Given the environmental conditions in this humid habitat it is considered that dew-bathing in this family is related to structure and ecological constraints and not to limited access to water. Picids are highly arboreal birds with structural modifications for arboreality that make them awkward and thus potentially vulnerable when on the ground. A propensity for dew-bathing in forest canopies at sunrise may be a factor in the rarity of such observations and contribute to the lack of published reports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-402
Number of pages3
JournalTurkish Journal of Zoology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • Adaptation
  • Arboreal
  • Maintenance behavior
  • Paraguay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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