First description of the breeding biology and behaviour of the near threatened northern sooty woodpecker Mulleripicus funebris (Valenciennes 1826) (Piciformes: Picidae) in Luzon Island, Philippines


Submitted: 14 June 2023
Accepted: 25 September 2023
Published: 10 April 2024
Abstract Views: 386
PDF: 152
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Authors

  • Vince Angelo G. Gicaraya Institute of Environmental Science and Meteorology, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila; The Cavity Nesting Bird Project, Terrestrial Research in Ecology and Evolution Laboratory, Institute of Biology, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City and Biodiversity Management Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Quezon City, Philippines. https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7692-9989
  • Carmela P. Española Institute of Biology, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City; The Cavity Nesting Bird Project, Terrestrial Research in Ecology and Evolution Laboratory, Institute of Biology, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City and Biodiversity Management Bureau, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Quezon City, Philippines. https://orcid.org/0009-0009-9087-1718

Although generally regarded as keystone species within forest communities, woodpeckers (Picidae) remain understudied in the Philippines. We describe for the first time the breeding biology and behaviour of the IUCN Near Threatened northern sooty woodpecker Mulleripicus funebris based on observations from a single active nest found in a standing dead Parkia timoriana tree at the Subic Watershed Forest Reserve, Zambales, Luzon, Philippines. The nest was observed from late February to May 2022 for a total of 63.7 hours. The cavity was 16.4 m from the ground and had opening dimensions (L x W) of 9.0 x 8.0 cm and a depth of 37.0 cm. Breeding of M. funebris lasted ≈76-83 days from nest excavation (≈27 days) to fledging. The brood size was two. Both parents were involved in nest building and chick-rearing activities. The male M. funebris contributed more hours during nest building and diurnal incubation whereas the female dominated feeding of nestlings and nest sanitation during the time of fledging. We recommend the retention of standing dead trees as nesting sites for woodpeckers and already existing holes for other cavity-nesting fauna.


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Gicaraya, V. A. G., & Española, C. P. (2024). First description of the breeding biology and behaviour of the near threatened northern sooty woodpecker <i>Mulleripicus funebris</i> (Valenciennes 1826) (Piciformes: Picidae) in Luzon Island, Philippines. Natural History Sciences, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/nhs.2024.701

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