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Heart-spotted Woodpecker
Heart-spotted Woodpecker

The Heart-spotted Woodpecker (Hemicircus canente) is a species of bird in the woodpecker family. They have a contrasting black and white pattern, a distinctively stubby body with a large wedge-shaped head making them easy to identify while their frequent calling make them easy to detect as they forage for invertebrates under the bark of the outer branches of trees. They move about in pairs or small groups and are often found in mixed-species foraging flocks. They have a wide distribution across Asia with populations in the forests of south western and central India.

A small, uniquely shaped, black and buff woodpecker with a large crest making the head look large for the short body and tail. Both males and females are predominantly black with heart-shaped black spots on white shoulders with broad white scapular patches and barring of flight feathers. The female has the forehead and crown buffy white while it is black on males. The throat is whitish and the underparts are dark olive grey. A tuft of feathers on the back are specialized and are lipid rich which causes the feathers to stick together in preserved specimens.

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. Within India, they are also found in the Western Ghats and the forests of central India. These woodpeckers forage in pairs, sometimes joining mixed-species foraging flocks. They fly from tree to tree in a sharply bounding flight giving a head-heavy appearance. They forage on thin branches and call often. They feed mainly on insects under bark but have been known to peck the pods of Cassia fistula to obtain insect larvae.

This heart spotted woodpecker was sighted during my visit to Karnala Bird Sanctuary, Mumbai.

Disclaimer: This photograph is taken in the natural habitat. Incase if anybody needs the copy of this picture, please contact me. © All Rights Reserved by Yogesh Rane (www.junglebook.co.in / www.yogeshrane.com)

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 RSS  Disclaimer : This photograph is taken in the natural habitat. Incase if anybody needs the copy of this picture, please contact me. All Rights Reserved by Yogesh Rane (www.junglebook.co.in / www.yogeshrane.com)