It was the characteristic rattling-whinnying call and an undulating flight that drew me to this wood pecker. I was shooting using Canon EOS 5D Mark III fitted with Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L II IS USM & Canon EF 2X III Extender. It gave me a very little time before flying off again. It is the only golden-backed woodpecker with a black throat and black rump. The Black-rumped Flameback is a large species at 26–29 cm in length. It has a typical woodpecker shape, and the golden yellow wing coverts are distinctive. The Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense), also known as the Lesser Golden-backed Woodpecker or Lesser Goldenback, is a woodpecker found widely distributed in the Indian Subcontinent. It is one of the few woodpeckers that are seen in urban areas. The rump is black and not red as in the Greater Flameback. The underparts are white with dark chevron markings. The black throat finely marked with white immediately separates it from other golden backed woodpeckers in the Indian region. The head is whitish with a black nape and throat, and there is a greyish eye patch. Unlike the Greater Flameback it has no dark moustachial stripes. The adult male has a red crown and crest. Females have a black forecrown spotted with white, with red only on the rear crest. Young birds are like the female, but duller. Like other woodpeckers, this species has a straight pointed bill, a stiff tail to provide support against tree trunks, and zygodactyl feet, with two toes pointing forward, and two backward. The long tongue can be darted forward to capture insects.
This flameback is found mainly on the plains going up to an elevation of about 1200m in Pakistan, India south of the Himalayas and east till the western Assam valley and Meghalaya, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It is associated with open forest and cultivation. They are often seen in urban areas with wooded avenues. It is somewhat rare in the Kutch and desert region of Rajasthan. This species is normally seen in pairs or small parties and sometimes joins mixed-species foraging flocks. They forage from the ground to the canopy. They feed on insects mainly beetle larvae from under the bark, visit termite mounds and sometimes feed on nectar. As they make hopping movements around branches, they often conceal themselves from potential predators. They adapt well in human-modified habitats making use of artificial constructions fallen fruits and even food scraps.
The breeding season varies with weather and is between February and July. They frequently drum during the breeding season. The nest hole is usually excavated by the birds and has a horizontal entrance and descends into a cavity. Sometimes birds may usurp the nest holes of other birds. Nests have also been noted in mud embankments. The eggs are laid inside the unlined cavity. The normal clutch is three and the eggs are elongate and glossy white. The eggs hatch after about 11 days of incubation. The chicks leave the nest after about 20 days.
EXIF info – Aperture : ƒ/6.3 | Camera : Canon EOS 5D Mark III | Taken : 20 January, 2013 | Exposure bias : +2/3EV | Flash fired : no | Focal length : 600mm | ISO : 400 | Location : 12° 55.3451′ 0″ N 74° 51.989′ 0″ E | Shutter speed : 1/160s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.