1383. Blythipicus pyrrhotis pyrrhotis

(1383) Blythipious pyrrhotis pyrrhotis (Hodgs.),
Blythipious pyrrhotis pyrrhotis, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iv. p. 55.
This fine Woodpecker is found from Nepal to Eastern Assam and Bengal ; throughout Burma and South to Perak in the Malay States. The bird from Siam and Annam has been separated by Robinson and Kloss.
This is essentially a resident of very dense forest from the level of the plains, in which it very probably breeds, to the summit of the highest hills. In Sikkim it ascends certainly to 7,000 feet, and Stevens thinks still higher in the Mai Kola Valley in Nepal.
Its favourite resorts seem to be valleys and ravines, with streams, large or small, running through them, and with heavily forested hanks, thick with undergrowth, dead trees etc. Here it drills its nest-hole in trees, living or dead, at heights between 3 and 10 feet from the ground. I have taken nests bored in quite sound wood, yet with tunnels inches at the entrance, widening gradually to inches, and fully 2 feet long, with a chamber at the end about 5 by 4 inches. Other nest-holes have been made in semi-decayed or quite rotten stumps, the entrance much shorter and the chamber a good deal bigger, while one nest was in a natural hollow, the entrance, also a natural one, simply rounded and enlarged by the birds.
Occasionally I have seen the holes drilled in tree-stumps in forest alongside roads. One such was beside the Gowhatty-Shillong road, where the bird had selected an old stump in a small spinney on the hanks of a little hill-stream. Driving past this I noticed the bird fly out, and inspection showed two eggs slightly set, which I took. This was on the 13th May and, on returning on the 27th of the same month, I found that two more had been laid in the same hole.
The birds return year after year to the same tree, and I have seen one chamber with three entrances, the newest at the bottom and not more than 4 inches above the nest, the oldest at the top and about 18 inches above it.
They are late breeders for Woodpeckers, May and June being the months in which most eggs are laid, though I have seen one or two clutches in April.
As a rule three eggs are laid but, often, two only, while I have only one clutch of four in my series.
In shape the eggs are long ovals, generally decidedly pointed at the smaller end, occasionally rather obtuse.
Twenty-five eggs average 29.7 x 21.2 mm. : maxima 33.0 x 22.7 and 29.0 x 23.1 mm. ; minima 27.1 x 22.0 and 28.1 x 19.0 mm.
The male bird does most of the incubation and, at least, bis fair share of the work of drilling the nest-hole.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1383. Blythipicus pyrrhotis pyrrhotis
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Red Bared Bay Woodpecker
Blythipicus pyrrhotis pyrrhotis
Vol. 3

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith