Woodpeckers feeding on Oil Palm Fruit


Male Common Goldenback walking backwards to the fruits below.

I returned the next day curious to see what other bird species were also feeding on the fruits of the Oil Palm. Also the video grab yesterday was not clear enough if they are feeding on the fruit or not. The Plantain Squirrels were still helping themselves to the fruit. Before long, a female Laced Woodpecker flew in followed by a male Common Goldenback. They both landed on the stalk of the leaves facing upwards. To get to the fruits at the trunk, they had to do a “moonwalk” sliding backwards instead of turning round. I think their longer front toes do not allow them to do this. I waited until one of them was pecking for a while before getting close to get this video. You can actually see the Laced Woodpecker chipping away at the fruit and then eating the pulp. I think this is the first video showing this behavior. I have come across reports from Malaysia of both of the these Woodpeckers pecking on the oil palm fruits. They were not sure if the Woodpeckers were looking for insects among the fruits or eating it. Yesterday we saw a Banded Woodpecker on a tree nearby but it did not join the Laced Woodpeckers to feed on the oil palm. The only other species that I know of were the Long-tailed Parakeets. They were seen biting and chewing the fruits at the visitor’s center at the Botanic Gardens. It would seem that only birds with strong bills can tackle and get to the fruit. Video Link at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJCThARsUL0

2 thoughts on “Woodpeckers feeding on Oil Palm Fruit

  1. Enjoy reading your articles on our local bird species. The colourful captured photos are beautiful taken. Thank you for the interesting and detailed write-ups.


  2. Many thanks, Allan. There is still a lot to learn about our native birds and the migrants. Even after so many years I am seeing new behaviors and just wish to share them as my mentors did for me.


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