Saturday, 16 January 2010

Heart-spotted Woodpecker Eating a Beetle Larvae

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Having never seen this bird before, I didn’t know what exactly I was photographing until much later. It turns out that this bird is the Heart-spotted Woodpecker (Hemicircus canente).

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The bird was spotted in our backyard on a Muricku tree (Erythrina variegata) (coral tree), foraging for insects.

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The Heart-spotted woodpecker is so called , due to its heart shaped black spots in the white patches on its shoulders and wings.

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It is a very small bird (approx 15 cm), and I wasn’t sure if I was looking at an adult or a juvenile. The bird appeared to be quite unmindful of the photographer and went about its business as usual, hopping up and down the branches, searching for insects.

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It soon found what appears to be a beetle larvae and pulled it out with its beak, before quickly gulping it down (see next 4 images).

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These birds are known to be ant feeders and are supposed to feed in groups. However, considering that this bird was alone, and its naivety in exposing itself without a care, leads to the belief that this is indeed a juvenile.

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It soon, left the original coral tree and was spotted on another tree of the same species, a little distance away. While on that tree, it was attacked by a crow and had a narrow escape. 

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Hopefully this species will establish itself around here and become more common in Karimanoor.


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