992. Chrysocolaptes gutticristatus

992. Chrysocolaptes gutticristatus.

Tickell's Golden-backed Woodpecker.

Picus guttacristatus, Tickell, J. A. S. B. ii, p. 578 (1833). Picus sultaneus, Hodgs. J. A. S. B. vi, p. 105 (1837). Picus strictus, apud Jerdon, Madr. Jour. L. S. xi, p. 210. Chrysocolaptes sultaneus, Blyth, Cat. p. 55 ; id. Ibis, 1866, p. 355; Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 653 ; Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 281; id. Ibis, 1872, p. 8; Hume & Oates, 8. F. iii, p. 64; Armstrong, S. F. iv, p. 310; Hume & Inglis, S. F. v, p. 26; Hume & Dav. S. F. vi, p. 133; Hume, Cat. no. 166; Anderson, Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 584; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 52 ; Hume, S. F. xi, p. 61. Indopicus sultaneus (Hodgs.) and I. delesserti, Malh. Mem. Acad. Metz, 1848-49, p. 343. Chrysocolaptes delesserti, Blyth, Ibis, 1866, p. 355; Hume, S. F. iii, p. 64; Bourdillon, 8. F. iv, p. 389; Fairbank, S. F. v, p. 396; Dav. & Wend. 8. F. vii, p. 78; Ball, S. F. vii, p. 205; Hume, Cat. no. 166 bis; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 114. Chrysocolaptes gutticristatus, Jerdon, Ms, 1872, p. 8; Blyth Wald. Birds Burm. p. 75; Fairbank, S. F. iv, pp. 255, 265; Hargitt, Cat. B. M. xviii, p. 448; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 313. Chrysocolaptes strictus, apud Hume, S. F. viii, p. 154 ; Butler, S. F. ix, pis. 238, 385 ; Davison, S. F. x, p. 354; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 53.

The Golden-backed Woodpecker, Jerdon ; Tashi-on-bau, Lepcha.

Coloration. Male. Forehead and border of crown to above eye brown, crown and occiput covered with long crimson feathers and bordered with black ; hind neck in the middle white, the feathers often bordered with black and the white more or less reduced to spots; back, scapulars, and whole outer surface of wings, except primary-coverts and outer webs of primaries, golden olive, the feathers with bright golden or sometimes scarlet edges ; quills and primary-coverts brown, inner webs with round white spots, tips of primaries often pale; rump crimson; upper tail-coverts and tail black. Sides of head and neck and lower parts as in C. festivus, except that there is more black, especially on the fore neck and breast, which are generally black with white spots.

Females have the crown and occiput black with round white spots. In young males the forehead is coloured as in females.

Bill bluish brown; iris pinkish yellow; eyelids dark slaty brown; legs greenish blue (Oates).

Length about 13 ; tail 4.25; wing 6.5 (varying from 5.85 to 7.45) ; tarsus 1.3 ; bill from gape 2.

Distribution. Throughout the Lower Himalayas as far west as Dehra Dun, rare in Lower Bengal, Manbhoom (Beavan), Dholbhum and Borabhum (Tickell), and common in the neighbourhood of the Malabar coast from western Khandesh to Cape Comorin. This species has not been recorded from other parts of the Indian Peninsula, but east of the Bay of Bengal it appears to be found from Assam throughout Burma and the neighbouring countries to Singapore, Siam, and Cochin China.

The Malabar race (wing 5.8-6.3: culmen 1.7-1.9) is much smaller than the Himalayan (wing 6.7-7.45; culmen 2-2.4) and has been distinguished as C. delesserti; but Hume has shown that in Burma there is a complete gradation between the two, and that Malay Peninsula birds are small like those from Malabar. In many species of Oriental birds and mammals the size diminishes to the southward. The true C. strictus is peculiar to Java, and is distinguished by the female having a yellow head as in C. festivus.

Habits, &c. This bird is found both in thick forest and in cultivation, and in Burma often haunts trees on the banks of streams. It has, Jerdon says, a high-pitched, faint, screaming note, quite unlike the loud and harsh call of Brachypternus aurantius. It also, like others of this genus, makes a great noise when tapping by repeating its strokes with unusual rapidity. It breeds on the Nilgiris between 5500 and 7000 feet in December, January, and February, and in the northern Satpuras near Bombay in March, making a large hole in the trunk of a tree from 6 to 60 feet from the ground, and laying a single white egg.

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: 
992. Chrysocolaptes gutticristatus
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Page No: 
Common name: 
Tickells Golden Backed Woodpecker
Greater Flameback
Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus
Vol. 3

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