1376. Yungipicus nanus semicoronatus

(1376) Yungipicus nanus semicoronatus Malherbe.
THE DARJILING Pigmy WOODPECKER.
Yungipicus hardwickii semicoronatus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iv, p. 49.
Yungipicus nanus semicoronatus, ibid. vol. viii, p. 672.
This tiny Woodpecker extends throughout the Outer Himalayas from Sikkim to Eastern Assam, North of the Brahmapootra. In the Khasia Hills the birds are also of this race though a few approach canicapillus, while in the adjoining Cachar Hills all specimens are of this latter race.
The birds breed principally between 3,000 and 4,000 feet, but a good many as low as 2,000 feet and, possibly, some even lower than this. Coltart and I both found this Woodpecker common at Margherita at 1,000 feet but never succeeded in finding a nest.
Apparently no one has taken the nest of this Woodpecker except myself. In the Khasia Hills it was very common, breeding in thin forest or, more often, in open country, cultivation fields surrounded by forest, or in patches of Rhododendron, Oak or other forest of small extent and surrounded by grass-land. Most nest-holes are made in horizontal or slanting branches of trees at heights from the ground varying from 15 to 35 feet and nearly always over 20. The entrance is invariably cut on the underside of the branch and is from 1.1/2 to 11 inch wide ; the tunnel runs in straight for 2 inches, and then turns downwards for another 4 to 8 inches into a chamber which measures between 3 and 4 inches wide and 4 to 7 inches deep. The branch selected is seldom one of any size and is usually 6 inches or less in diameter ; sometimes a rotten branch is employed but, as a rule, only sound branches are drilled into.
The breeding season is April and May, but I have taken or seen a good many eggs in June.
A full clutch numbers four or five eggs and thirty of these average 18.6 x 14.4 mm. : maxima 20.8 x 15.0 and 18.8 x 15.2 mm. ; minima 17.6 x 14.9 and 18.3 x 14.1 mm.
Both sexes assist in boring out the nest-hole, in incubation and in feeding the young, while, in all three duties, the male bird is the most strenuous and hard working.
Drilling the tunnel and chamber goes on mostly in the mornings and evenings and not for very long at a time, each bird hammering away for a few minutes and then being relieved by its mate. Making the nest-hole is a very long job as a rule, the birds often commencing in early March and not finishing until early April, nearly or quite a month.
How long incubation lasts is very difficult to determine but I have known young birds to be in the nest on the sixteenth day after the last chips of wood had been thrown out. This would make the period to be twelve or thirteen days, which is probably correct.
They remain in the nest for nineteen to twenty-three days after hatching.

BookTitle: 
The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Reference: 
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1376. Yungipicus nanus semicoronatus
Spp Author: 
Malherbe.
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
CatNo: 
1376
Year: 
1934
Page No: 
294
Common name: 
Darjiling Pigmy Woodpecker
M_ID: 
10622
M_SN: 
Dendrocopos canicapillus semicoronatus
Volume: 
Vol. 3
id: 
14485

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