991. Chrysocolaptes festivus

991. Chrysocolaptes festivus.

The Black-backed Woodpecker.

Picus festivus, Boddaert, Tabl. Pl. Enl. p. 43, no. 696 (1783). Picus goensis, Gmel. Syst. Nat. i, p. 434 (1788). Dendrocopus elliotii, Jerdon, Madr. Jour. L. S. xi, p. 212 (1840). Picus (Chrysocolaptes) melanotus, Blyth, J. A. S. B. xii, p. 1005 (1843). Chrysocolaptes goensis, Blyth, Cat. p. 55; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 282. Chrysocolaptes festivus, Blyth, Ibis, 1866, p. 355 ; Blanford, J. A. S. B. xxxviii, pt. 2, p. 168; Adam, S. F. i, p. 373; Ball, S. F. ii, p. 391; vii, p. 206; Butler, S. F. iii, p. 458; ix, p. 385 ; Hume, Cat. no. 167; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 52; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 191; Davidson, S. F. x, p. 297; Hume, ib. p. 355; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 115 ; Hargitt, Cat. B. M. xviii, p. 445; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 312.

Coloration. Male. Forehead with large huffy-white spots on a brown ground; long feathers of crown and occiput crimson, a black border, often mixed with white anteriorly, to the crown ; hind neck and middle of upper back white; remainder of back, scapulars, smaller wing-coverts along the forearm, tail-coverts and tail black; larger and median secondary-coverts olive with golden-yellow edges, outer webs of secondaries golden olive, rest of quill-feathers brownish black, all outer webs with spots, brownish or greenish outside, white inside, inner webs with large white spots ; sides of head and neck and underparts white or buffy white, except a broad black band from each eye down the side of the neck, two black lines on each malar region, the two meeting at the side of the throat, and a median line down the throat, or five lines in all; breast-feathers -with broad black lateral margins producing a striped appearance, abdominal with narrower and less defined borders ; under tail-coverts mixed black and white.

Female. Coronal and occipital feathers golden yellow, broad forehead spotted as in the male. In young males the crest-feathers are dull scarlet, in young females the yellow crest-feathers have red tips.

Bill dusky blackish; irides crimson; legs and feet horny plumbeous (Jerdon).

Length about 12.5 ; tail 3.5 ; wing 6.25 ; tarsus 1.1; bill from gape 2.2.

Distribution. This Woodpecker is found throughout the greater part of the Indian Peninsula and Ceylon, in forest-tracts, ranging to Dehra Dun and the Oudh Terai in the north, the Aravalli Hills to the west, Behar and Chntia Nagpur to the east. On Lthe Malabar coast it appears to be much less common than the next species, but has been recorded from Ratnagiri, Goa, and the Nilgiris. It is, as a rule, rare or very locally distributed.

Habits, &c. This, though a forest bird, is not an inhabitant of thick jungle, and has been observed in cultivation occasionally. According to Davidson it breeds in the hills around Khandesh in November, December, and January, and lays a single white egg in a hole in a tree as usual. Generally a new hole is cut out every year.

The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.3 1895.
Title in Book: 
991. Chrysocolaptes festivus
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Black Backed Woodpecker
Chrysocolaptes festivus
Vol. 3

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