Order: Woodpeckers (Piciformes)
Family: True woodpeckers (Picidae).
Habitat: coast of Indian ocean, from Southern Africa up to Jakarta Coast, through Zinj Land, Arabia, India, Indochina; groves of coconut palms. This species does not meet on Madagascar, in Australia and on islands of Indian Ocean
It is rather large representative of woodpeckers, the daw-sized bird. The present species is the descendant of one of the African woodpecker species. The bird has a constitution typical for woodpeckers. The basic colouring is grayish-sandy with set of specks and strokes (tips of feathers on chest and belly are dark). Wings of this bird are monotonous ash-grey. Similarly to many other woodpeckers, this bird has red head contrasting with the general soft colouring of feathering.
Voice of bird is sharp nasal cry. Males also “drum” on trunks of trees, involving the female in courtship season. Coconut woodpeckers are settled birds, and also do not make distant migrations. Besides these birds do not depart far to the sea therefore they do not inhabit islands far from coast.
This woodpecker lives in groves of coconut palms at coast of Indian Ocean. It eats insects pulling them out from under bark of coconut palms, sometimes gathers any edible trifle at coast after storm, or hollows trunks of trees cast ashore, searching for crustaceans and molluscs settling in them. Main and the most interesting feature of this bird is the way of its nesting. The matter is that it rears nestlings in … coconuts. Preparation for nesting begins from the flight of male and the female to palm groves. They find the nut most attractive in their opinion. They choose have not ripened yet and have not become covered by fibers coconuts. Male and female hollow out an aperture in shell of nut, drink “coco milk”, and scrape and throw out thin layer of pulp of the coco, yet not harden and looking at this moment like jelly-looking substance. Sometimes they act even easier: simply keep near to the chosen tree, protecting it. At this time in pulp of coco larvae of insects settle and completely eat the rests of pulp from within a nut. Woodpeckers occasionally check this coco, at the same time eating a part of insects. When it becomes dry in coco hanging at this time on tree, birds start laying and incubating of eggs. Eggs are hatched by the female, and the male protects nest territory and brings food in nest. Almost all pairs have time to hatch nestlings and to leave such “starling house” before it will fall from a palm. But at some “losers” the nest falls from a top of palm earlier, than the hatch leaves it. If the palm is not so high, and nut falls in soft sand, nestlings can survive. In that case woodpeckers will continue to feed them up, but already on the ground. In this case, to tell the truth, a significant amount of young birds perishes, becoming catch of snakes or lizards.
This species of birds is discovered by Simon, the participant of forum.