Brachypternus aurantius, Lin.
180. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 295 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 458 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 114; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 62.
THE GOLDEN-BACKED WOODPECKER.
Length, 11 to 12; extent, 17 to 19; wing, 5.5 to 5.8; tail, 3.5 to 4 ; bill at front, 1.35 ; bill from gape, 1.5 to 1.7.
Bill slaty-black; irides red-brown ; legs and feet dark green.
Male : head and crest bright crimson ; middle of neck, behind, black; upper back and scapulars rich golden-yellow; middle of the back black mixed with olive-yellow; lower back, upper tail-coverts, and tail, black ; wing-coverts black at the shoulder, gradually changing to golden olive-yellow, each feather spotted with fulvescent-white; wings the same externally, except the first quills which are black, as all are internally, and marked with large white spots on their inner webs; a stripe through the eyes and ear-coverts mixed black and grey, lores, cheek and sides of neck forming a white stripe below the dark eye-streak; chin, throat, neck below, and breast black, with white marks increasing in size on the breast, all the feathers being edged, or scaled with black, diminishing in extent on the lower abdomen, which is almost white, and forming cross-bands on the flanks and thigh-coverts.
The Golden-backed Woodpecker is very common throughout the district, with the exception of the Deccan and South Mahratta country, where it is replaced by the next species.
It is a permanent resident, breeding during March and April and again in June and July; the eggs, there is no nest, are deposited at the bottom of a hole, pierced in a branch of a tree, most frequently a mango; they are three in number, of a polished milk-white color, of an elongated oval shape and measure 1.11 inches in length by 0.8 in breadth.