Sunday, 17 January 2010

Heart-spotted Woodpecker Eating a Beetle Larvae


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).


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


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


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.


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).





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.


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. 


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


  1. Sweet goodness.
    That's one cute bird, if I can say so :D
    Lucky you for finding such a little show off ;)
    Lovely pictures.
    Love the one with the worm and later the one with that satisfied face expression ;)

  2. Thanks Nicole. Yes, indeed it seems satisfied after eating the worm.

  3. Cool looking woodpecker and it is a cute bird. They are all great shots but my favorite is the one with the larvae.

  4. nice, fantastic photos of this little guy. Heart-spotted woodpecker, what a looker!

  5. Gotta echo the 'cute' comments - what a darling bird! Neat observation, thanks for sharing.


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