Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker catches a larva

“A Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker [also known as Brown-capped Woodpecker (Dendrocopos moluccensis)] was first observed foraging in a cluster of mangrove trees. As it flitted from stem to stem, it was pecking regularly, searching for preys that were residing in them. It paused to stare intensely at a vertical stem of a small mangrove tree. It must have sensed a prey inside the stem as it commenced to chisel at one spot with its chisel-like beak. It did not take long to create a tear in the bark. It continued working on it, shifting itself to attack at it using various angles.

“Later, it worked on another spot that was a little higher. It was interesting and fun taking pictures of the woodpecker taking turns to work alternately between the two spots, turning from upright to upside-down, chiseling and tearing out the outer layer of the stem.

“Finally, after slightly more than three minutes of continuous effort, the woodpecker put its beak into the lower spot (top left) to pull out a big fat larva [?beetle larva] (top right) that appeared to have a wing-like structure [piece of wood chip?] in the middle of its body (above). With the larva in its beak, it flew off to a neighbouring tree where its fledgling was waiting. The larva was caught for its fledgling.”

Kwong Wai Chong
27th June 2010

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