Tan Gim Cheong circulated this account on the confrontation between a Lineated Barbet (Megalaima lineata) and a Laced Woodpecker (Picus vittatus).
“This drama played out at Singapore’s Jurong Lake on 11th November 2009 morning. A Lineated Barbet was bathing at a tree-hole when a Laced Woodpecker decided to challenge it. In the end, the challenger lost and retreated.”
Obviously the barbet can stand its ground when confronted by the woodpecker. Barbets are generally more aggressive, even belligerent, around their food source and nesting and roosting cavities. They are known to actively mob raptors and owls, not to mention other groups of birds. This is evident especially during breeding seasons when they attack other birds without apparent reasons.
Gim Cheong represents the modern birdwatcher who carries a camera when out in the field. This enables him to document instances of bird behaviour and share them with others. His account of the barbet-woodpecker confrontation that was circulated in the e-forums PigeonHoles and wildbirdSingapore on 12th November 2009 is a refreshing change from the usual lists and sighting reports that dominate such forums.
Short, L. L. & J. F. M. Horne, 2002. Family Capitonidae (Barbets). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & J. Sargatal (eds.), Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 7. Jacamars to Woodpeckers. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp. 140-219.