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Rufous Woodpecker chiseling a nesting cavity

on 11th April 2017

Dani M Queddeng documented a Rufous Woodpecker (Micropternus brachyurus) at the Chinese Garden in Jurong vigorously chiseling a nesting cavity on the trunk of a tree.

(screen grab)
(screen grab)

Normally the male constructs the nesting cavity, pecking forcefully on the surface of the tree trunk. Pieces of wood are then torn off and discarded. Once a circular patch representing the entrance is formed, the woodpecker digs deeper to eventually form a tunnel down the trunk.

Beakfuls of wood chips are then discarded from the nest entrance. A small pile of wood chips is left at the bottom of the cavity to line the nest.

Once the nesting hole is to the satisfaction of the male it would be offered to the female. If she accepts, the pair will mate and the female will begin laying her eggs.

Nest building may take two weeks if it is a live tree and the wood is soft. If the wood is hard, the woodpecker may take up to four weeks. Dead trees take shorter time as the wood is half rotten and soft.

Dani M Queddeng
Singapore
12th February 2017

Reference:
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.

This post is a cooperative effort between Birds, Insects N Creatures Of Asia and BESG to bring the study of birds and their behavior through photography and videography to a wider audience.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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