1389. Micropternus brachyurus phaioceps

(1389) Micropternus brachyurus phaioceps Blyth.
Micropternus brachyurus phaioceps, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. iv, p. 63.
This race of Rufous Woodpecker occurs in the Himalayas from Nepal Eastwards to Assam and Northern and Central Burma ; it is the form which is found throughout the Shan States and Northern Siam, but in South Central Burma, Pegu etc. it is difficult to say what race occurs. Many birds are as big as the biggest of the Northern race, others as small as the Southern, As I can define no definite area for their intermediate forms and give no distinguishing characters I leave them unnamed. If they were given a name it would be burmanicus of Hume.
As with the other races of Rufous Woodpecker, the favourite kind of country for this bird to breed in is thin deciduous forest or quite open country, well wooded and well watered. They also frequent secondary growth, bamboo-jungle or scattered scrub and small tree-jungle. The ants’ nests selected by the birds for breeding in are often most conspicuous and can be seen from far away. Practically all the ants’ nests, a groat many, Coltart and I examined were live nests, but Gammie, who found four nests at about 2,000 feet in Sikkim, says that three of these appeared to be recently deserted.
It should be noticed also that while those we found in trees were nearly always in upright branches between 20 and 30 feet from the ground, Gammie’s nests were at the ends of hanging branches within 6 to 10 feet of it. The birds make their entrance-tunnel about the middle of one side of the nest, this being rather under 2 inches in diameter, the cavity being about 5 to 6 inches in both diameter and height.
The breeding season is April to June and the number of eggs laid nearly always three. I have one clutch stained a deep brown, but it is just as transparent as the clean ones. So transparent are the eggs that the yolk does not give a pink tinge to the whole egg but shows through as a yellow ball.
Fourteen eggs average 26.0 x 19.6 mm. : maxima 28.3 x 20.0 and 25.4 x 20.2 mm. ; minima 24.9 x 18.6 mm.

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: 
1389. Micropternus brachyurus phaioceps
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Norrn Rufous Woodpecker
Micropternus brachyurus phaioceps
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