Jeremiah Loei’s video below shows the Banded Woodpecker (Chrysophlegma miniaceus) probing the rotting branches swarming with ants. With its powerful bill, it chisels the surface of the rotting wood to get access to the tunnels where insect larvae can be found. It uses its long tongue to probe inside the tunnel. Once the tip comes into contact with a large beetle larva the barbed tongue will help extract it out. Small larvae like those of ants can easily be licked out into the mouth.
In this case the woodpecker is obviously not interested in the swarming ants but either the beetle larvae of the ant larvae.
17th November 2017
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.