Lesser Yellownape / Woodpecker

Member of the Picidae Family: WoodpeckersSapsuckersFlickers

Distribution / Habitat:

The Lesser Yellownape (Picus chlorolophus) is a woodpecker which is a widespread and often common breeder in tropical southern Asia from India and Sri Lanka east to south China and Sumatra.


This is a jungle species which nests in a tree hole, laying two to four white eggs.


Like other woodpeckers, this species has a straight pointed bill, a stiff tail to provide support against tree trunks, and zygodactyl or “yoked” feet, with two toes pointing forward, and two backward. The long tongue can be darted forward to capture insects.

The Lesser Yellownape is a largish species at 27cm in length. It is a typical woodpecker shape. The upperparts are green apart from the bright yellow tufted nape. The neck and breast are green and the belly is whitish, finely barred with green. The rump and tail are blackish.

The adult male Lesser Yellownape has a green head with a white throat. He has red markings above the eye and above the nape, and red moustachial stripes.’

Females have only a red patch above the ear coverts (feathers covering the ears).

Young birds are like the female, but duller. The subspecies occurring in peninsular India has a greyer head.

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