Taman Rimba Kiara is a little green gem located in a corner of the TTDI residential area. The above flowering tree, the firmiana malayana or mata lembu, flashes in testimony to man's care-less-ness - it's one of only two trees in the park that had flowered, since then the tree had been chopped down.

Sunday 3 January 2021

Epilogue, Part VI

 To wrap up the nesting episode of the Crimson-winged Woodpeckers, I must say that it has been an amazing journey, looking back at the circumstances in which this took place.

To start off it was bewildering that the Crimson-winged Woodpeckers would select a site that was heavily used by the walkers and cyclists in the park.

The nest hole, hardly 5ft above the ground, that was dug out in a sawn off bare branch was however perfectly concealed until the woodpeckers themselves gave away their presence due to their continuous movements when they started to build this cavity nest.

The surrounding area, approximately 10 m from the hosting tree, was barricaded to provide a more secure environment for the woodpeckers from curious park goers and over-enthusiastic photographers.

And to think that just about a month ago this sewn off branch was the perfect site for a hive of Tualang bees until the queen bee was removed to prevent continuity.

However the choice of this tree could be a clever move by the woodpeckers for the soft interior of this hardwood trunk facilitated easy nest building whilst the hard exterior provided secure protection.

These amazingly evenly-sized wood chips strewn beneath the nest entrance were testimony to the ease with which the woodpeckers were able to excavate off the trunk.  It was observed that nest-building took approximately 14 days.

(My heartfelt appreciation to fellow birder Robin Cheng for the following photographs and his observations.)

The nest hole was located roughly 2ft down this sewn off portion.

The size of the nest chamber was approximately 8 inches deep (an initial attempt measurement by both Robin and birder Tee LH soon after the woodpeckers had fledged), the hole entrance to the extreme right top corner barely 5ft above the ground and hardly discernible except for the birds entering and exiting the nest.

Another view of the soft interior just off the entrance.

Using his car dash cam and Fenix mini torch Robin obtained an amazing view of the nest chamber that measured about 8 inches deep by 6 inches wide, and also discovered left-over wood chips and small crawling insects inside, which presumably provided a rather comfortable base and food for the growing chicks inside.

It's truly the extraordinary location of a woodpecker's nest that was built so low that had enabled a remarkable peek into the nature of its nest chamber.  

All in all it had been most remarkable learning process for many who had been with these Crimson-winged Woodpeckers from nest building to successful fledging of its chicks.

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