Brown Fronted Woodpecker Male

Brown-fronted Woodpecker

Distribution in India: Resident of Himalayas.


Size of 19–20 cm; wt. of 37–50 g. The male has a dull brown to yellow-brown forehead and forecrown, yellower mid-crown, orange-red nape patch and black hindneck. Rest of head is white, grey-brown feather tips forming darker patch on ear-coverts, narrow brown-grey malar stripe becoming broader and black at rear, continuing to upper breast side; white chin and throat tinged brown or grey. It has black upperparts barred white on mantle and back, wing-coverts broadly tipped white; brownish-black flight-feathers that are barred white. Uppertail is black, outer feathers barred white. It is white below, lower breast and flanks tinged yellow, becoming pink or orange on central belly and undertail-coverts, broad black streaks on breast becoming paler and narrower on lower underparts, belly is plain. It has a medium-long bill slightly chisel-tipped, culmen barely curved, slate-grey to bluish, paler base of lower mandible; iris is red-brown to red; legs are grey-green to slate-grey. The female differs from male in head pattern. It has a duller yellow crown y with hint of orange, sometimes greener, this colour continuing to nape, also duller red eyes. The juvenile is duller than adult, with browner ear-coverts, is greyer below with paler pink vent.  It is found in coniferous and pine-oak forest, and montane dry deciduous forest; also park-like woodland and secondary growth.

Food habits:

It eats insects and their larvae and fruits, berries and pine seeds and sap. It forages singly or in pairs. It often joins mixed flocks of tits) and minivets. The foraging is mostly confined to trees and bushes.

Breeding habits:

It breeds in Apr–Jul in India. The nest-hole is excavated in dead trunk or in underside of large branch of pine, Himalayan elm or other tall tree. They lay a clutch of 3–5 eggs.The chicks are fed by both parents.