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Greater flameback, Greater Goldenback, Large Golden-backed Woodpecker or Malherbe's Golden-backed Woodpecker, Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus

The Greater Flameback (Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus) also known as Greater Goldenback, Large Golden-backed Woodpecker or Malherbe's Golden-backed Woodpecker, is a Woodpecker species. It occurs widely in the Indian subcontinent, eastwards to southern China, the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, western and central Java and northeast Borneo.

Greater flameback, Greater Goldenback, Large Golden-backed Woodpecker or Malherbe's Golden-backed Woodpecker, Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus

Range map from Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
Range map from www.oiseaux.net - Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
www.oiseaux.net is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there

Taxonomy
Recent taxonomic evidence suggested the species be split into the following species:

• Greater flameback, (C. guttacristatus) (C. lucidus if taken as a group and not split)

• Crimson-backed flameback, (C. stricklandi) of Sri Lanka.

• Javan flameback (C. strictus) of eastern Java, and Bali and Kangean Islands

• Luzon flameback (C. haematribon) of Luzon, Polillo, Catanduanes and Marinduque in the northern Philippines

• Yellow-faced flameback (C. xanthocephalus) of Negros, Guimaras, Panay, Masbate and Ticao Philippine Islands

• Buff-spotted flameback (C. lucidus) of Bohol, Leyte, Samar, Biliran, Panaon, Mindando, Basilan and Samal Philippine Islands

• Red-headed flameback (C. erythrocephalus) of Balabac, Palawan, Busuanga and Calamian Philippine Islands


Description
The greater flameback is a large Woodpecker, at 33 cm in length. It is of typical Woodpecker shape, has an erect crest and a long neck. Coloration is highly variable between subspecies; it always has unmarked golden-yellow to dark brown back and wings. The rump is red and the tail is black. The underparts are white with dark markings (chevrons, stripes, or bands), or light brown.

The head is whitish with a black pattern, or it is yellow, brown or red. The straight pointed bill is long (longer than the head) and – like the legs and four-toed zygodactyl feet (two toes pointing forward, two backward) – lead-grey. The eyes' irides are whitish to yellow.

The adult male greater flameback always has a red crown. Females have a crown color varying between subspecies, such as black spotted with white, yellow, or brown with lighter dots. Young birds are like the female, but duller, with brown irides.

Similar species Head pattern of Western Ghats greater flameback (C. l. socialis). The thin and divided black "moustache" can be used to distinguish it from similar Dinopium flamebacks. White-and-black-headed greater flameback subspecies resemble some of the three-toed Dinopium flamebacks, but are not particularly closely related.

Unlike the Black-rumped Flameback (D. benghalense) and the Common Flameback (D. javanense), the greater flameback's dark moustache stripes are divided by white (making them inconspicuous at a distance); except in stricklandi, their hindneck is white (not black), and even in the Sri Lankan birds the dark colour does not extend to between the shoulders as it does in Dinopium; consequently, when seen from behind the black-and-white-headed greater flamebacks outside Sri Lanka show a white neck bordered with black on the sides, while the Dinopium species have a black neck and upper back, with thin white borders to the neck.

Those flamebacks are also smaller (though this is only reliable in direct comparison), have a bill that is shorter than the head, and dark irises.

Convergent evolution in plumage between a larger and a smaller species is also found among other Woodpeckers, such as the North American downy Woodpecker ("Picoides" pubescens) and hairy Woodpecker ("P." villosus), the tropical American smoky-brown Woodpecker ("P." fumigatus) and certain Veniliornis species, or the striped Woodpecker (V. lignarius) and checkered Woodpecker (V. mixtus) and some South American Piculus and “Picoides”

In all of these cases, these birds are neither gregarious nor known to be bad-tasting, and due to their size difference and habitat preferences do not compete much; hence the usual reasons for mimicry do not seem to apply. While the similar plumage may be due to sheer chance – perhaps as an atavism of plesiomorphic patterns – the facts that such cases are commonplace in the Picinae and that the species involved are usually sympatric suggests that there may well be some as yet undiscovered benefit to either or all of the taxa involved.

Listen to the Greater flameback


Ecology
This flameback is a species associated with a diversity of rather open forest habitat, such as found in the foothills of the Himalayas or in the Western Ghats; it also inhabits mangrove forest. It seems to be well-adapted to particular forest types, while the similar-looking Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense) is more of a generalist; thus, depending on what forests predominate in a region, C. lucidus may be more (e.g. in Thailand) or less common (e.g. in peninsular Malaysia) than D. javanense.

In Malaysian mangrove forest for example, the greater flameback has been found to prefer tall Avicennia alba for foraging, while the Common Flameback rather indiscriminately utilizes that species as well as Bruguiera parviflora and Sonneratia alba.

Like other Woodpeckers, the greater flameback uses its bill to dig out food from trees and its zygodactyl feet and stiff tail to provide support against tree trunks. The long tongue can be darted forward to extract wood-boring arthropod prey; while mainly feeding on small invertebrates, greater flamebacks will also drink nectar. They nest in tree holes, laying three or four white eggs.[5]

Widely distributed and quite common in parts of its range, the Greater Flameback is classified as a Species of Least Concern by the IUCN.

Conservation status
Greater flameback, Greater Goldenback, Large Golden-backed Woodpecker or Malherbe's Golden-backed Woodpecker, Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus
Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 20 May 2009.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

www.birdforum.net


Sighted: (Date of first photo that I could use) 30th of January 2016
Location: Kanha Tiger Reserve, India


PLEASE! As I'm a first time birdwatcher bear in mind that some of the bird can be wrongly named. I have bought books and I confirm on the internet to get the right identity on the birds I take pictures off. But there can still be mistakes.

I have had most help from my friend, the bird pal I met at Suan Rot Fai. Sending pictures of birds I have not been able to identify to him via Line. 3 minutes later he and he have managed to identify most of the birds I have had problems with. THANKS! Visit his web page m☥lever for his beautiful pictures.

And my new aid, maybe, and I say maybe the best aid. I brought my mobile phone as my SIM card have stopped working and I tried to get it to work again so I can use the internet. Thus I had my phone in my pocket on my first game drive in Jim Corbett National Park.

We saw a bird and I asked my Guide and the driver if they had a pen and a paper as I had forgot my pen and paper in my room. I remembered my LG phone and I recorded the name. And thus I will always bring my phone. Writing the name in the car and I have found more than once that it can be hard to read what I had wrote when I'm back in my room.

So now I always have my mobile in my pocket and it has been a great help. And from November 2018 I use eBird. Bird watching in U.A.E and Oman and my guide in Dubai recommended eBird and I have used the app since then and I note every bird I can identify in my eBird app.

Greater flameback, Greater Goldenback, Large Golden-backed Woodpecker or Malherbe's Golden-backed Woodpecker, Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus
Greater flameback - 30 January 2016 - Kanha Tiger Reserve, India

Greater flameback, Greater Goldenback, Large Golden-backed Woodpecker or Malherbe's Golden-backed Woodpecker, Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus
Greater flameback - 30 January 2016 - Kanha Tiger Reserve, India

Greater flameback, Greater Goldenback, Large Golden-backed Woodpecker or Malherbe's Golden-backed Woodpecker, Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus
Greater flameback - 30 January 2016 - Kanha Tiger Reserve, India


Sorry for poor quality pictures! The bird was far away!
Will update when and if I manage to get other pictures



PLEASE! If I have made any mistakes identifying any bird, PLEASE let me know on my guestbook



       
                  



                                       

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