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.
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
12th February 2017
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.
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