Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Dendrocopos moluccensis (Gmelin, 1788)

Species:D. moluccensis
Common Names:Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker
Status:Common resident


This is the smallest of Singapore’s woodpeckers. Size 12–13 cm.

Read more about the Piciformes order.
Read more about the Picidae family.


Found throughout Singapore and its offshore islands.

Locality Map

General Biology

The Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker is very common in the gardens, parks, scrubland and even tree-lined parking lots and roadsides in Singapore. The rapid, sharp trills of this species can be heard as it flies from tree trunk to tree trunk, looking for small insects. It moves along the tree trunk and branches, probing into the bark with its sharp bill and sending its tongue into cavities looking for insect grubs - see HERE.

A video of it drumming near its nest together with the wavefore of the sound is posted HERE while another on it foraging along a bamboo culm is posted HERE.


Insects like ants, bees, beetles and their larvae, nectar and fruits.

Life Cycle

The nest is a cavity excavated in a rotting tree trunk or branch. A clutch of two eggs is laid.

A video of how the adult lures the chick to fledge can be viewed HERE.


Wang, L. K. 2011. Woodpeckers. Pp. 507. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore. 552 pp.

Wang, L.K. & Hails, C.J. 2007. An annotated checklist of birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 15: 1–179, Singapore.

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