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Rufous Woodpecker - BirdForum Opus

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Photo © by jweeyh
Singapore, January 2008
Micropternus brachyurus


Medium size with short nuchal crest and short black bill together with rufous plumage marked with black bars on upperparts diagnostic.
Male has red cheek patch.


The Indian subcontinent and southern China through South-East Asia to Greater Sundas.

Photo © by kctsang
Singapore, August 2008


Formerly placed in the genus Celeus.


There are 10 subspecies[1]:

  • M. b. humei:
  • North-western India (Himachal Pradesh) to extreme western Nepal
  • M. b. jerdonii:
  • M. b. phaioceps:
  • M. b. fokiensis:
  • M. b. holroydi:
  • Hainan Island (southern China)
  • M. b. williamsoni:
  • M. b. annamensis:
  • M. b. badius:
  • M. b. brachyurus:
  • M. b. badiosus:
  • Borneo and North Natuna Islands


Subspecies M. b. humei
Photo © by Rajsurin
Ramnagar, Uttarakhand, India, Jan-2018

Forests,the forest edges,scrubs,plantations and gardens.


Frequents the canopy and middle story. Generally unobtrusive, sometimes very vocal. Excavates nest cavity in the nest of tree ants and its diet also includes ants.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Birdforum Member Observations

Recommended Citation

Subspecies M. b. jerdonii
Photo © by drkishore
Maredumilli, Andhra Pradesh, India, September-2018

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