Mike Tan a.k.a. woof documented the nesting of the Brown-capped Woodpecker, also known as Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker (Dendrocopos moluccensis) in May 2008.
A common resident in Malaysia and Singapore, the bird excavates a 15-30 cm deep tunnel in a dead or rotting tree branch or trunk, leaving a small entrance of about 4 cm wide. Both adults indulge in the excavation.
Mike noticed the parent appearing at the entrance of the nest on 16th May 2008 (left). After several days when the parents fed a chick inside the nest cavity, the latter finally made it appearance on 9th June (below left). Subsequently the parents fed the chick at the cavity entrance (below right).
The chick fledged on 13 June.
There appears to be a natural overhang around the upper half of the cavity entrance, not seen in the top image when the nest was just excavated. This looks suspiciously like the reproductive structure of a bracket fungus, possibly (Ganoderma sp.), closely allied to the ling chi in Chinese traditional medicine. The growth of the fungus was possible because the tree was probably dead.
All images by Mike Tan.
This post is a cooperative effort between www.naturepixels.org and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.
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