This Buff-rumped Woodpecker (Meiglyptes tristis) was photographed by Dr. Redzlan Abdul Rahman at Bukit Tinggi in Peninsular Malaysia. The woodpecker was pecking at a termite nest high up on a dead tree. Apparently it caught an insect, vaguely seen in its bill. Unfortunately it is not possible to identify the insect.
Seen in nearby Malaysia, the Buff-rumped Woodpecker has long been locally extinct in Singapore.
It forages by gleaning and probing mainly, hacking only when the wood is rotting. Often, it joins mixed-species foraging flocks.
The fact that this woodpecker was photographed outside a termite mound where there are large holes makes one tempted to question whether it may be nesting in one of the holes. But then, this species nests in cavities dug from rotting or dead tree trunks. There has not been any report of it nesting in termite mounds. In Asia, the Rufous Woodpecker (Celeus brachyurus) regularly digs nests in football-sized tree-ants nests.