Rufous woodpecker

Celeus brachyurus

SUBFAMILY Picinae

TAXONOMY

Picus brachyurus Vieillot, 1818. Nine subspecies. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Pic brun; German: Rostspecht; Spanish: Carpintero Rufo.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

8.3-9.8 in (21-25 cm), 1.9-4.0 oz (55-114 g); a reddish brown woodpecker with black barring on rufous back, wings, tail, and flanks; reddish eye; male with a red cheek, female without; juveniles like adults but sometimes more, sometimes less barring.

DISTRIBUTION

Southeast Asia from southwest India and Sri Lanka to Nepal, southern China, Hainan, Borneo, Sumatra, and Java; several disjunct and island populations resulting in considerable variation recognized as subspecies.

HABITAT

Lowland forest to 5,580 ft (1,700 m) in some areas; occupies a diversity of forest types, including bamboo, mangroves, and

Rufous Woodpecker

scrub, as well as both primary and secondary evergreen and deciduous forest.

BEHAVIOR

A shy bird usually found away from people; found in pairs; seems to prefer open forest, but seeks shaded areas; very vocal.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Forages throughout the forest, sometimes in mixed species flocks. Feeds extensively on tree-dwelling ants and other insects; also takes fruits, nectar, and sap.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Male and female share excavation of nest, often in a nest of tree ants; clutch usually of 2-3 shiny white eggs incubated by both sexes for 12-14 days; young fed by regurgitation.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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