Woodpeckers belong to the Picidae family of the Piciformes order. There are more than 180 species around the world. They are easily recognized by their unique behaviour of pecking vertically on trees, with some having very distinct crest as well as sharp beaks. Woodpeckers also have specially adapted feet and tail feathers which enable them to cling to tree trunks. Unlike most birds which have only one claw facing backward, woodpeckers have to claws facing forward and two facing backward. The tail feathers of woodpeckers are stiff and act as brace to support the bird.
In Malaysia, woodpeckers are found in varying colour and sizes with some very brightly coloured and others somewhat dull. Size ranges from the small 15 cm Buff-rumped woodpecker to the large White-bellied woodpecker measuring up to 43 cm. In between there are medium sized woodpecker (25-30 cm) such as the Banded woodpecker, Common Flameback woodpecker and the Yellownaped woodpecker. Most woodpeckers eat only insects and tree sap, but some also eat fruits and nuts.
Banded Woodpecker / Belatuk Merah (Picus miniaceus)
Found in primary and secondary rainforest, forest edges, nearby plantations and sometimes gardens, the Banded woodpecker often sits high on branch, calling regularly throughout the morning with a penetrating, descending “peew”. This 25 cm long woodpecker feeds high on large branches and sometimes low in scrubs, mainly on ants. The nest hole is excavated in a dead tree. The bird is readily identified with its red crest and yellow tip, red wings, dull greenish mantle with pale wavy barring together with chestnut under-parts marked with whitish barring diagnostic. The male distinguished from the female with its red molar patch and a more distinct barring. The Banded woodpecker is fairly common resident in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore, Brunei, but less common in Thailand and Myanmar.
Common Flameback Woodpecker / Belatuk Pinang Muda (Dinopium javanense)
The Common Flameback, also known as Common Goldenback woodpecker is a medium sized woodpecker found in Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Both male and female birds have black eye strips join to black rear neck stripe. The male has red crest while the female’s crest is black. Compared to other woodpeckers, the common Flameback has rather small bill and only three toes. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forest, subtropical or tropical moist low land forest and subtropical or tropical mangrove forest. It flies from tree to tree searching the bark of invertebrates, starting from the bottom of the tree and working upward.
Lesser Yellownape Woodpecker / Belatuk Kecil Tengkuk Kuning (Picus chlorolopus)
The Lesser Yellownape is a jungle species found in the mountain forests of Peninsular Malaysia. Picus chlorolopus is also widespread in the Oriental region excluding Hong Kong and Cambodia. As in most woodpeckers, this species has straight pointed bill, a stiff tail to provide support against tree trunks, and zygodactyl feet. The long tounge can be darted forward to capture insect. The Lesser Yellowpane is a considerably a large species at 27cm in length, though not as large as Greater Yellowpane which can grow up to 34cm. The upper parts are green, apart from the bright yellow tufted nape. The neck and brest are green and belly is whitish, finely barred with green. The rum and tail are blackish. The adult male Lesser Yellownape has full red crown and malar stripe.
White-bellied Woodpecker / Belatuk Gajah (Dryocopus javenis)
The species is one of the largest living species of woodpecker. Adults ranged from 40 – 48cm (16-19 in) and are second in size only to the Great Slaty Woodpecker among Asian woodpecker species. White-bellied woodpeckers are found in variety of woodlands. In the tropics, it is found only in lowlands and hills up to 1,500 meters elevation. It is fairly common in Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines, but rarely in Singapore. This species required large tree in habitat for feeding and nesting. Both male and female birds share the nest building, incubation and feeding chores. Description wise, this large size bird is mostly black with red crest on the head, and white lower belly and rump visible in flight.
Date of Issue 13-01-2013
60sen, 80sen, RM1.00, Miniature Sheet RM5.00, Sheets: 20x60sen, 20x80sen, 20xRM1.00
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