Owston’s Woodpecker in the Forest

Encounter with a Woodpecker

Owston's Woodpecker is perching on a slender tree

During fieldwork on Mt.Yuwandake, I heard rhythmic tapping sounds nearby. Quickly grabbing my camera and aiming towards the direction of the sound, I found an Owston’s Woodpecker drumming away. The Owston’s Woodpecker is a species endemic to Amami Oshima. It pecked at a slender, decaying tree, and seemed to look for insects within. Completely engrossed in its drumming, it paid no attention to me, allowing me to capture valuable reference photos and videos.

Owston's Woodpecker is perching on a slender tree
Owston's Woodpecker is searching for insects inside the tree

Why are they drumming?

Not only Owston’s Woodpecker, but also woodpeckers drum for several reasons, one of which is foraging. They tap on trees to find insects such as larvae living inside, which they feed on. Another reason is for nest-building. They create round holes in trees to inhabit them. Additionally, drumming serves purposes like territorial assertion and courtship behavior.
I was able to capture footage of drumming, so please take a look.

Basic Information about the Owston’s Woodpecker

Classification: Order: Piciformes, Family: Picidae, Genus: Sapheopipo
Habitat: Amami Oshima (endemic species)
Size: 28-30 cm
Diet: Insects and larvae
Characteristics: Males have red heads, while females are black.

Tour to Visit the Habitat of the Owston’s Woodpecker

In the following tour, you can visit the forest, which is the habitat of the Ouston Woodpecker. Join the tour and try to locate them relying on the sound of their drumming.

1Day Mt.Yuwandake Cloud Forest Tour
Amami Oshima Island One-Day Sightseeing Tour