Buff-necked Woodpecker – drumming

on 11th November 2021

Saw a pair of Buff-necked Woodpecker (Meiglyptes tukki tukki) foraging today – the male is shown above and below.

Below is the female. Apart from the red malar strip, Gorman 2014 (Woodpeckers of the World: The Complete Guide. Helm Guides) states that sexes can be differentiated by the male having a “yellower and larger” neck-patch. I have not been able to appreciate this in all the times I have watched this woodpecker. Both sexes are involved in drumming and we heard many episodes today, mainly produced by the female. A short segment of an edited and amplified drumming record is here:

The sonogram and waveform of one drumming episode is shown below. Drumming was of variable lengths and notes – lasting 1.5 seconds (32 notes) to 2.5 seconds (45 notes). The quality of the notes depended on the tree used. It could rise in tempo or be variable.


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia


Location: Taiping, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Primary jungle at foothills

Date: 18th February 2019

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld with Rode VideoMic Pro Plus Shotgun Microphone


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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