Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Rufous woodpecker

Thai: นกหัวขวานสีตาล, nok hua khwaan see taan

Binomial name: Micropternus brachyurus, Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot, 1818

The rufous woodpecker, (Micropternus brachyurus) is a brown woodpecker found in southern, eastern and northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, southern China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia (Sumatra, Borneo and western Java). Its genus, Micropternus, is monotypic.

It builds its nest within the nest of acrobat ants (Crematogaster). This bird is not considered threatened by the IUCN.

Description and systematics

It is a medium-sized, rufous-coloured woodpecker with a short crest and a short, weak and slightly curved black bill. It has black vermiculations on its rufous body and a dark eye stripe. The upperparts are finely barred black. The male has small red patches at the eyes.

This singular species was formerly placed in the South American genus Celeus simply due to its somewhat similar appearance and for lack of a better alternative, but it differed from these species in many aspects. DNA sequence analyses have confirmed that the rufous woodpecker should be placed in the monotypic genus Micropternus. Its closest relatives seem to be the enigmatic woodpeckers of the genus Meiglyptes and possibly Hemicircus.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Piciformes
Family
Picidae
Genus
Micropternus
Species
Micropternus brachyurus

Common names

  • Thai: นกหัวขวานสีตาล, nok hua khwaan see taan

Synonyms

  • Celeus brachyurus, Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot (1818)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Rufous woodpecker, Micropternus brachyurus in Thailand
  • Ban Lat District, Phetchaburi
  • Ban Phai District, Khon Kaen
  • Bang Lang National Park
  • Bueng Boraped Non-hunting Area
  • Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai
  • Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park
  • Dong Kheng Forest Park
  • Hala-Bala Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Kaeng Krachan District, Phetchaburi
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Kaeng Krung National Park
  • Kamphaeng Saen District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Khao Luang National Park
  • Khao Nan National Park
  • Khao Pu - Khao Ya National Park
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Khao Sok National Park
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khao Yoi District, Phetchaburi
  • Khon San District, Chaiyaphum
  • Khura Buri District, Phang Nga
  • Kui Buri National Park
  • Mae Ping National Park
  • Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Wong National Park
  • Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mueang Krabi District, Krabi
  • Mueang Tak District, Tak
  • Nam Nao National Park
  • Nong Plak Phra Ya – Khao Raya Bangsa Non-hunting
  • Pa Sang District, Lamphun
  • Pha Daeng National Park
  • Pha Taem National Park
  • Phan District, Chiang Rai
  • Phu Chong Na Yoi National Park
  • Phu Foi Lom National Park
  • Phu Khiao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Sakaerat Environmental Research Station
  • San Kala Khiri National Park
  • Sri Phang-nga National Park
  • Tha Yang District, Phetchaburi
  • Thale Ban National Park
  • Thung Yai Naresuan Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Yan Ta Khao District, Trang

Range map of Micropternus brachyurus in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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