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Greater Flameback

The Greater Flameback, (Chrysocolaptes lucidus), also known as the
Large Golden-backed Woodpecker or Malherbe’s Golden-backed Woodpecker, is a woodpecker which is a widespread and common resident breeder from the Indian subcontinent eastwards through tropical southern Asia to the Philippines and Indonesia. This flameback is a species associated with fairly open forest. It is found in the foothills of the Himalayas and in the forests of the Western Ghats.

Like other woodpeckers, this species has a straight pointed bill, a
stiff tail to provide support against tree trunks, and zygodactyl or “yoked” feet, with two toes pointing forward, and two backward. The long tongue can be darted forward to capture insects, but Greater Flameback will also take nectar.

The Greater Flameback is a large species at 13 inches in length. It is
a typical woodpecker shape, and has a golden yellow back and wings. The rump is red and the tail is black. The under parts are white with dark v-like markings. The head is whitish with a black nape and throat, and there is a black eye patch. It has a dark moustache stripe, and the black of the eye patch is joined to that of the nape. The adult male Greater Flameback has a red crown. Females have a black crown, spotted with white. Young birds are like the female, but duller.

The Greater Flameback nests in a tree hole, laying three or four white
eggs.

Greater Flameback


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