Banded Woodpecker harvesting ants

The woodpecker’s powerful bill is used to dig into rotting wood for food. Once a wood-boring larva is located and its tunnel broken into, the long barbed tongue probes deeply into it to extract the succulent larva. Its tongue is also adapted to lick up ants and termites that it comes across.

This rare image above (left) and the enlarged image to show the tongue (above right) by Lee Tiah Khee shows the Banded Woodpecker (Picus miniaceus) licking ants off a leaf.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.


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