Three woodpeckers in one location

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“Had the opportunity to see three different woodpeckers foraging in the same immediate locality at the same time – a pair of Rufous Woodpecker (Micropternus brachyurus squamigularis), a pair of Crimson-winged Woodpecker (Picus puniceus observandus) and one female Buff-rumped Woodpecker (Meiglyptes tristis grammithorax).

“This was in a durian (Durio zibethinus) orchard with partial secondary forest surrounding it and primary jungle further in. Lots of good extended views with limited photograph quality. Could have used flash but was having such a good time just watching them over 30-40 minutes that did not want to frighten them.

“The Rufous Woodpeckers were a pair (above: male left, female right). Although they foraged on the tree trunks of the durian trees, they also spent quite a bit of time in low bushes covered with creepers and appeared to be searching for insects. Even on the trunks not much drumming for food, more ‘surface gleaning’. Male recognised by dark red just below the eyes.

“The pair of Crimson-winged Woodpeckers were both male (above left). They were calling out to each other as they moved from tree to tree foraging. They aggressively hit on the tree trunks for food. The Buff-rumped Woodpecker was a female (above right).”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Burmese Pool Trail, Taiping
Perak, Malaysia
30th December 2009

Note: In an e-mail to Amar dated 25th January 2010, Lim Kim Chye commented: “Your interesting pic record of the Rufous WP feeding on ants recalls a similar observation some years ago. I was at Trong in Bubu FR and on this occasion I saw 4-5 RWPs tearing to bits an ant nest in a tree and feeding on them. Thanks for sharing.”

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