I saw a pair of Buff-rumped Woodpecker (Meiglyptes tristis) on 7th February 2023 at a forest reserve outside of Ipoh (see image 1). This section of the forest has been partly logged decades ago, with strong re-growth and primary forest on both sides. The nest is located 12 meters up in a dead tree that is situated in a gully with a stream running past. There are a number of old woodpecker and barbet holes in this dead tree. I watched the birds intermittently over 2 hours, while I was also observing different babbler species in that area.
1. Both partners were involved in nest excavations.
2. Most times they worked independently with the other partner playing a ‘look-out’ role.
3. Once I saw the female join the male and excavate together (see image 2). She then gently nudged him out of the way to take over fully.
4. Nesting activities were interrupted by a pair of Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) that came to check out an old hole that was to the right and below the nesting site (see image 3). This pair of mynas were already using another hole on the other side of the tree trunk but seemed keen to displace the woodpeckers. The woodpeckers came back later to continue working on their nest.
Wells (1999) notes that only a few nests have been reported. There are no details on the incubation and fledging periods. Nests have been reported 2.5-8 meters up in live or dead tree trunks, often at the forest-edge. The nest I observed is higher than previously reported locally.
I hope to continue observations, provided the birds have not been deterred by the mynas.
Wells, D.R. (1999). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Vol. 1 (Non-Passerines). Christopher Helm, London.
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
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