Monday, 6 June 2011

Speckled Piculet

Speckled Piculet

The Speckled Piculet (Picumnus innominatus) or the Nilgiri speckled Piculet is a tiny bird belonging to the woodpecker family of Picidae.

Speckled Piculet

It has olive green upper parts, with the male having a orange crown, while the female (here) has it green. It has a broad white supercilium. A second such line passes from the bill to the neck. The intermediate streak, which runs through the eye is black.

Speckled Piculet

The lower plumage is a creamy-white with bold dark spots, giving it the speckled appearance. The iris is dark and bill is short and black.

Speckled Piculet

It is a rare bird as it is shy and keeps to the forests. It is seen singly or in pairs, mostly on the upper branches of high trees while foraging for food  and calling with a sharp spit-spit call:

Their food consists mainly of ants in all stages. As seen in the third picture above, it uses it’s tongue to flick out insects from holes and crevices on trees.

Speckled Piculet

It nests in holes in bamboo or rotten branches, which is often used for more than a season. The nesting season is from April to May.

  Sighting Information:
Location: Gudalur
Date: 28th May 2011
Time: Evening; 3:00 PM
Weather: Slightly overcast
Other Details: Seen in a clump of trees in a forested area, but close to human habitation. Feeding with the male, which I barely managed to miss taking a picture of.

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