969. Dendrocopus auriceps.
The Brown-fronted Pied Woodpecker.
Picus auriceps, Vigors, P. Z. S. 1831, p. 44 (published Apr. 6,1831). Picus brunnifrons, Vigors, P. Z. S. 1831, p. 176 (Mar. 2, 1832); Blyth, Cat. p. 62; Jerdon, ibis, 1872, p. 7. Leiopicus brunnifrons, Horsf. & M. Cat. ii, p. 674. Picus brunneifrons, Jerdon, B. I. i, p. 273; Stoliczka, J. A. S. B, xxxvii, pt. 2, p. 20; Beavan, Ibis, 1869, p. 412; Hume. Cat. no. 159; C. H. T. Marshall, Ibis, 1884, p. 410. Dryobates brunneifrons, Tytler, Ibis, 1868, p. 202. Picus incognitas, Scully, S. F. viii, p. 246. Dendrocopus brunneifrons, Hargitt, Cat. B. M. xviii, p. 264 ; Oates in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. ii, p. 304; Sharpe, Yark. Miss., Aves, p. 110.
The Brown-fronted Woodpecker, Jerdon.
Coloration. Male. Forehead and crown umber-brown; occipital crest golden yellow in front and crimson behind; sides of the head and neck and the chin white finely mixed with black ; ear-coverts very pale brown; a brown malar band on each side passing into a broad black stripe that breaks up into black spots on the sides of the neck; upper parts from the nape, wings, and tail as in D. macii; lower parts, from throat to abdomen inclusive, fulvescent white, longitudinally streaked with black, middle of abdomen tinged with yellow; lower abdomen and under tail-coverts pale crimson; under wing-coverts white with black spots.
The female has no golden yellow nor red on the occiput, which is, however, much yellower than the crown.
Base of lower mandible pale plumbeous, rest of bill bluish horny brown; irides deep brown; legs and feet pale glaucous green (Davison); irides crimson (Scully).
Length 8; tail 3.3 ; wing 4.6 ; tarsus .8; bill from gape 1.
Distribution. Throughout the Western Himalayas as far east as Nepal, chiefly between 2000 and 6000 feet but sometimes as high as 9000. This species has been found in Northern Afghanistan, Hazara (Agror), and Kashmir, and is common about several hill-stations.
Habits, &c. D. auriceps is said to come into gardens, and to have a soft rolling whistle. It breeds in April and the first half of May, chiefly in oak and fir-trees, making holes sometimes in the stems, sometimes in branches, at varying heights from the ground, and laying 4 or 5 white eggs that measure about .92 by .68.