1369. Dryobates atratus

(1369) Dryobates atratus Blyth.
Dryobates atratus. Fauna B, I., Birds, 2nd ed, vol. iv, p. 41.
I still consider that this little Woodpecker must be given full specific rank, as in the Khasia and Cachar Hills, and in Manipur, both this and macei are almost equally common, yet individuals are always easily referable to one or the other. The range appears to run from the districts of Assam named above to practically the whole of Burma as far South as Tenasserim.
Like the preceding species, this is found from the level of the plains up to about 5,000 feet, being most common between 2,000 and 4,000 feet, I have taken several clutches of eggs of this little Woodpecker and had others brought to me with one or both the parents. With one exception the eggs have been taken from nest-holes cut in trees standing in cultivated clearings surrounded by forest or jungle, while all have been low down, between 4 and 10 feet from the ground. The tree selected is generally a small dead one or merely a stump of one, but they are always fairly sound, and I have never known them bore into rotten wood. The oneexception, to the above was a clutch I took from a stump standing on a bank in rather open Pine-forest, The bird flitted from the hole when I tapped the tree, and I thought it was macei, but when we set nooses and caught the male I at once saw it was not this bird but atratus.
The breeding season is from the end of March to the beginning of May. I have taken three clutches in June, one of three on the 24th of that month being obviously a second brood, so it is possible that this Woodpecker is sometimes double-brooded.
The full clutch of eggs is four or five, but an exceptionally large percentage of eggs are addled. I have seen nest-holes containing two young and three addled eggs or three young and two eggs.
Twenty-two eggs average 21.3 x 16.9 mm. : maxima 24.1 x 17.8 mm. ; minima 19.0 x 14.3 mm.
A curious habit of this little Woodpecker is that of both sexes sitting on the eggs at the same time. I have myself caught both male and female on the nest by just stuffing up the entrance with my handkerchief directly I spotted the entrance, one of my men doing the same thing twice in one week. The birds sit very close and will not leave until the tree is shaken or tapped.

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: 
1369. Dryobates atratus
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Stripe Breastbd Pied Woodpecker
Stripe-breasted Woodpecker
Dendrocopos atratus
Vol. 3

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