Lesser flamebacked woodpecker

Dinopium benghalense

SUBFAMILY

Picinae

TAXONOMY

Dinopium benghalense Linnaeus, 1758. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Black-rumped flameback, black-rumped golden-backed woodpecker, lesser golden-backed woodpecker; French: Pic du Bengale; German: Orangespecht; Spanish: Pico Lomo en Llamas.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

10.2-11.4 in (26-29 cm), 3.0-4.7 oz (86-133 g); a medium red-crested woodpecker; black mantle, lower back, and rump; yellow to yellow-green mid-back and wings; black tail; breast white with feathers edged in black. Male's forehead is red to bill; female's forehead is black with white spots. Race from Sri Lanka has back and wings deep red, more black on head.

DISTRIBUTION

Indian subcontinent.

HABITAT

Diverse forest and cultivated areas.

BEHAVIOR

Seen in pairs and in mixed species flocks. Pair members keep in contact with one another using frequent loud rattling calls. Breaks into leaf nests of ants. Frequents coconut plantations and wooded gardens.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Primary food is ants, but takes other arthropods, fruit, and nectar.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Nests in March to April in most areas, again in July and August in south; from December to September in Sri Lanka. Clutch of 2-3 white eggs is incubated by both parents for 17-19 days; both adults feed young by regurgitation; young fledge at 21-23 days; sometimes a second brood is raised.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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