“I was on the way out when I heard these unusual, mournful calls. Found these two male Banded Woodpecker (Picus miniaceus malaccense) involved in a territorial conflict (above). I did not see any female nearby. The image below is a composite of the same bird in call and at rest.
“They were so intent on each other that I was ignored, even at 4-5 meters distance. Much of the time they stood their ‘ground’, with a face off. Intermittently they would burst out in a in a series of 3-6 mournful calls, while pursuing each other around a tree trunk. The amplified recording of the calls can be heard HERE. The waveform and sonogram of calls is shown below.
“The head and trunk were extended backwards when making the calls. Much ‘side-to side body swinging’ and crest raising. At times one flew to another tree and was pursued by the other male.
“Unfortunately this part of the forest reserve is badly disturbed and heavily mosquito infested. I was swamped by 40-50 while watching and could only last 12-15 minutes (too many bites).
“I managed some short videos, see above. Note that action starts around 25 seconds into the video.”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
30th August 2014
Location: Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Mixed secondary and primary jungle