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Ashy Woodpecker - BirdForum Opus

Revision as of 08:06, 27 July 2023 by THEFERN-13145 (talk | contribs) (→‎Taxonomy)
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Photo by Rob Hutchinson
Gunung Ambang, Sulawesi, Indonesia, July 2007
Mulleripicus fulvus


A large Woodpecker with dusky grey upperparts and buff underparts. The male of the nominate subspecies has a red forecrown whilst M.f.wallacei has a wholly red crown. The female has no red on the head. There is no confusion species on Sulawesi as the only other Woodpecker on the island is the small Sulawesi Woodpecker Dendrocopos temminckii.


Endemic to Sulawesi, Indonesia, and some adjacent islands.
Reasonably common in suitable habitat.


Female. Photo © by THE_FERN. Tangkoko, Sulawesi Indonesia, July 2023


There are 2 subspecies;

  • M. f. fulvus:
  • Northern Sulawesi, Bangka, Lembeh, Manterawu and Togian islands
  • M. f. wallacei:
  • Southern Sulawesi, Muna and Butung islands


Moist lowland forests and montanes. Prefers closed forest, rarely seen close to villages or towns.
Occurs from lowlands up to 2200m.


Often seen in pairs or groups of up to five birds. Usually seen foraging on tree trunks. May also occasionally feed on ground.
Diet includes termites, caterpillars and probably other arthropods.
Breeding season probably from March to August. The nest hole is excavated in a dead tree or in a dead part of a living tree. One hole was 12m above the ground. Lays 2 to 3 eggs.
Probably a resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 2002. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 7: Jacamars to Woodpeckers. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334375
  3. Avibase

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