1375. Leiopicus mahrattensis blanfordi

(1375) Leiopicus mahrattensis blanfordi Blyth.
Leiopicus mahrattensis blanfordi, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol, iv, p. 47.
* Thefact of the type-locality of aurocristatus Tickell being "Borabhum,” in South-West Bengal, does not, I think, enable us to resuscitate this name for the Northern race. Even if the types of aurocristatus are not absolutely typical of the Southern race, they are certainly nearer to an average Southern bird than to an overage Northern one. We have, therefore, no alternative but to join them with, the former and as, with the material available, the Northern bird cannot be separated, from the Burmese one, it must bear t he same name, blanfordi.
The range of this subspecies is the whole of India North of the area occupied by the preceding bird ; Bihar, Assam, Manipur, Lushai Hills and the whole of Burma, in the hills and adjacent plains, as far South as Tounghoo. East it is to be met with in the Shan States and Cochin China.
Nowhere does this bird ascend the hills to any height, but it has been recorded in the Western Himalayas up to 6,000 feet, which must be exceptional. In the East it occurs up to about 2,500, but it is really a plains bird, breeding in the hottest and driest parts of Northern India and the hottest and wettest parts of Bengal and Assam where, however, it is a very rare bird. In Burma I have never heard of it ascending the lulls above 2,000 feet and Hopwood obtained it breeding in the plains of the Lower Chindwin.
It is, like the last, a bird of open country, gardens and cultivated tracts, but in Assam and Burma sometimes frequents thin forest or the outskirts of dense forest,
E. H. N. Gill (Journ. Bomb. Nat, Hist. Soc, vol. xxx, p. 274, 1925) writes about this bird’s breeding :—“The nesting season is from the end of February to the beginning of May, and the eggs are deposited in holes in trees at varying heights from the ground. Sometimes the branches in which the holes are drilled are dry and decayed and sometimes quite green and robust ; sometimes quite perpendi¬cular and sometimes slanting. The aperture is circular and about an inch and a half in diameter. It goes straight into the branch for a couple of inches and then turns downwards to a depth of 6 to 8 inches, the egg-cavity at the bottom being hollowed out and lined with bits of wood and bark.”
The few nests I have taken have been similar to the above, the chamber being about 4 to 5 inches deep and about 3 to 31 wide. There is, of course, no lining, the chips on which the eggs lie being merely what have fallen to, or remained in, the bottom of the hole when drilled. I have taken one nest from a branch of a tree about 35 feet from the ground, but Rattray (Jhelum), Jesse (Lucknow), Jones (Meerut) and Hopwood (L. Chindwin) all report nests between 10 and 20 feet.
The breeding season everywhere is March and April and few eggs are laid in other months, though I once took three fresh eggs on the 18th August.
Twenty-five eggs average 21.3 x 15.4 mm. ; maxima 24.2 x 16.0 and 21.2 x 17.4 mm. ; minima 19.5 x 16.0 and 20.3 x 15.2 mm.
Gill says that “both birds assist in building the nest and in feeding the young, and it is quite common for the same nest to be used for several years in succession.”

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 3. 1934.
Title in Book: 
1375. Leiopicus mahrattensis blanfordi
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Norrn Yellow-fronted Pied Woodpecker
Yellow-crowned Woodpecker
Dendrocopos mahrattensis
Vol. 3

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