Backyard Birds

White-naped Woodpeckers

The White-naped Woodpeckers (Chrysocolaptes festivus) are widespread but scarce native flamebacks in India and Sri Lanka, where they are associated with open forests and scrub areas with scattered trees.


White-naped Woodpeckers are large woodpeckers that average 29 cm in length (including the tail). They have straight pointed bills and a stiff tail that provides support against tree trunks as they move up and down.

The upper parts, including the wings, are golden yellow; except for the black rump and tail; white hindneck that extends down the back, and black shoulder patches that also continue onto the back to form V-shape that is bordered with white.

The head is whitish with a dark moustache stripe and black eye patches that extend down the sides of the neck. The under plumage is white with dark chevron markings.

Mature males can easily be identified by their red crowns, which is yellow in females.

They have zygodactyl or “yoked” feet, with two toes pointing forward, and two backward. Their long tongue is well adapted for darting forward to capture insects in crevices.

Juveniles resemble adult females, except for a duller plumage.

Breeding / Nesting:

As is typical of woodpeckers, they nest in tree cavities. The average clutch consists of one or two white eggs.

Member of the Picidae Family: WoodpeckersSapsuckersFlickers

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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