Gecinus occipitalis, Black-naped Green Woodpecker
Coloration: Male. Forehead and crown crimson. Plumes over
nostrils, upper lores, a line above the grey supercilium, occiput and short
occipital crest, and a broad malar stripe from the lower mandible black. The
occiput and malar stripe more or less mixed with grey; sides of head,
including lower lores, supercilia, area below eye, and ear-coverts, ashy
grey. Sides of neck, hind neck, and back moderately bright green, generally
tinged with bright yellow on the rump and occasionally with orange, but
sometimes only brighter green. Secondary wing-coverts, tertiaries, and outer
webs of secondaries yellowish olive. Quills dark brown, the inner webs,
except near the tips, with imperfect white bars, the outer webs of the
primaries with equidistant white spots, primary-coverts barred. Tail-feathers
black, with greenish edges near the base, the median pair with imperfect
greenish-drab bars. Breast green, duller and more olivaceous than the back,
passing into greyish white on the throat and chin, and into ashy grey or
sometimes brownish grey on the abdomen. Lower wing-coverts banded white and
brown. Female. Whole forehead, crown, and nape black, the sides of the
feathers grey, producing a striped appearance.
Picas occipitalis, Vigors, P.Z.S. 1830, p.8; Blyth J.A.S.B. x, p.922;
xii, p.1002; xiv, p.191
Picas barbatus, Gray in Hardw. Ill. ind. Zool. i, pl. xxxi, fig. 2
Gecinus occipitalis, Blyth, Cat. p.58; Horsf.& M.Cat ii, p.661;
Jerdon B.I.i, p.287; Godw.-Aust, J.A.S.B. xxxix, p.267; xlv, p.70; Cock &
Marsh. S.F.i, p.350; Hume, S.F.iii, p.70; v, p.26; xi, p.62; id.
Cat.no.172; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burma. p.76; Hume & Dav. S.F.vi, p.137;
Oates, S.F.viii, p.165; Scully, ibid, p.248; Binqham, S.F.ix, p.164; Oates,
B.B.ii, p.51; Marshall, Ibis, 1884, p.410; Salvadori, Ann. Miss. Civ, Gen.
(2) iv, p.579; v, p.566; Hargitt Ibis, 1888, p.6; id. Cat. B.M. xviii, p.50;
Oates in Hume’s N & E 2nd ed. ii, p.299; Sharpe, Yarkand Miss., Aves, p.109
The young is duller in colour and the lower plumage and tail-feathers are
Bill dull blackish brown; eyelids purplish brown; iris dull red. Legs dull
green; claws greenish horn-colour (Oates).
Size: Length 12.5; tail 4.7 (3.8 to 5.1) wing 5.6;
tarsus 1.2; bill from gape 1.7
Distribution: From Murree and Kashmir throughout the Himalayas to
Assam and Yunnan at moderate elevations, up to about 8000 feet to the
westward and 5000 in Sikkim; also the countries between Assam and Burma,
throughout Burma and in Siam.
Habits: Breeds in the Himalayas from the middle of May to the middle
of June, laying four, five, or sometimes six white eggs, moderately glossy or
very polished, in a hole, usually bored in the stem of a tree, but much
nearer the ground than in the case of G. squamatus. The average size
of the eggs is 1.14 by 0.88.
Gecinus chlorolophus, Small Himalayan Yellow-naped Woodpecker
Bill yellowish-green horny, culmen and tip dark plumbeous; irides
carmine-red; orbital skin bluish plumbeous; tarsi dingy green; claws pale
horny (Scully).Male. Nasal plumes and a line above lores black.
Forehead, a stripe from the forehead on each side of the crown to the nape,
and the tips of the feathers for a malar stripe on each side of the lower
mandible crimson. Crown of head olive-green, some of the occipital feathers
occasionally tipped crimson. Nuchal crest of loose-textured feathers ending
in filaments golden to orange-yellow; back, wing-coverts, rump, and upper
tail-coverts bright yellowish green. Lores and a band beneath the eye and
ear-coverts, also a narrow line over the eye, whitish. Ear-coverts pale
olive; quills dark brown, the inner webs, except near the tips, with squarish
white spots. Outer webs of primaries near their base, and outer webs of
secondaries throughout red bordered with green; a few small white spots
(sometimes wanting) on outer webs of primaries. Tail black, the median
feathers with bronzy-green edges near the base; lower parts olive. Chin,
throat, abdomen, under wing-coverts, and lower tail-coverts barred with white
or greenish white.
Picas chlorolophus, Vieill. Nouv. Dict. d'Hist. Nat. xxvi, p.78 (1818)
Picas nepaulensis, Gray in Hardw. Ill. ind Zool. i, pl. xxxi, fig.1
Gecinus chloropus, Blyth, Cat. p.58; Tytler, A.M.N.H. (2) xiii, p.367
Chrysophlegma chlorolophus, Horsf.& M.Cat. p.662; Jerdon, B.I.i,
p.289; Godw.-Aust. J.A.S.B. xxxix; pt.2, p.97; xlv, pt.2, p.70 Hume, S.F.iii, p.71; v, p.26; xi, p.62; id. Cat.no.174; Blyth & Wald. Birds Burma p.76;
Hume & Dav. S.F.vi, p.138; Ball, S.F.vii, p.206; Scully, S.F.viii, p.249;
Bingham, S.F.ix, p.164; Oates, B.B.ii, p.45; C.H.T. Marshall, Ibis, 1884,
p.410; Salvadori, Ann. Mus. Civ. Gen. 2, iv, p.578; v, p.565; vii, p.379
Gecinus chlorolophus, Hargitt, Ibis, 1888, p.184; id. Cat. B.M. xviii,
p.59; Oates in Hume’s N. & E ii, p.300
Lesser Yellow-naped Woodpecker, (Jerdon)
Female. No crimson on the forehead, sides of head above the eye, nor
on malar stripe, but there is a band on each side of the occiput; otherwise
the plumage resembles that of the male.
The young are duller, the lower parts dusky, not green, and barred or spotted
Size: Length 10.5; tail 4; wing 5.4; tarsus
0.9; bill from gape 1.25.
Distribution: The lower Himalayas up to about 10,000 feet, as far west
as Chamba, also Assam, Cachar, Tipperah, Manipur, Arrakan, Burma generally,
and Tenasserim. A specimen referred to this species has been obtained from
Perak. This Woodpecker has been reported from Orissa, but its occurrence in
the Indian peninsula must be regarded as doubtful.
Habits: Like other members of the genus, this green Woodpecker
sometimes feeds on the ground. In Burma it is found both in thick forests and
open tree-jungle. The nest has been taken in Sikkim in April, and contained
three eggs, one measuring 1.14 by 0.72. The nest-hole was 14 feet from the
ground in the stem of a dry tree, the eggs white and glossy.
Gecinus puniceus, Crimson-winged Green Woodpecker
Coloration: Male. Nasal plumes and a line over the lores
brownish black. Forehead, crown, nape, and broad malar stripe crimson, this
colour descending for some distance behind the ear coverts. Nuchal crest of
loose-textured feathers yellow; back and scapulars green, more or less
olivaceous; lower back and rump the same, the feathers edged with pale
yellow; wing-coverts, whole outer webs of secondaries, and basal portion of
outer webs of primaries deep crimson. Tips of secondaries and tertiaries
green; remainder of quills dark brown, outer webs of primaries sometimes with
a few white spots; inner webs of all with larger white spots or imperfect
bars. Tail black; sides of head dull olive; chin and throat light brown or
brownish olive. Sides of neck and lower parts olive-green; the flanks spotted
Picus puniceus, Horsf. Trans. Linn. Soc. xiii, p.170 (1821)
Gecinus puniceus, Blyth, Cat. p.59; Hargitt, Ibis, 1888, p.176; id.
Cat. B.M. xviii, p.64
Venilia punicea, Horsf.& M.Cat. ii, p.664
Chrysophlegma puniceus, Blyth Birds Burm. p.77; Hume, S.F.iii, p.324;
Oates, B.B. ii, p.44
Callolophus puniceus, Hume & Dav. S.F. vi, p.139; Hume, Cat. no.175 ter
Female has no malar band, but otherwise precisely resembles the male.
Young birds are duller in colour and have the lower parts browner and spotted
more or less throughout.
Upper mandible black; lower mandible and edges of upper at gape dark greenish
yellow. Iris crimson; orbital skin lavender-blue. Legs and feet pale green
Size: Length 10.5; tail 3.75; wing 5.15;
tarsus 0.9; bill from gape 1.4.
Distribution: The Malay peninsula, extending into southern Tenasserim
as far north as Tavoy; and to the southward to Sumatra, Java, and Borneo.
Habits: According to Davison this Woodpecker inhabits evergreen
forests. It is very noisy in the evening and has a peculiar note, which it
utters from the top of a high tree. It is usually seen singly and has not
been observed on the ground.
Gecinus nigrigenis, Red-rumped Green Woodpecker
Coloration: Male. Cap including the sides of the head and
nuchal crest black, except an area of variable size on the crown, which is
crimson; back, scapulars, wing-coverts, and upper tail coverts yellowish
green; rump bright scarlet, sometimes mixed with yellow (the latter may show
immaturity); quills dark brown, the inner webs with white bands, outer webs
of primaries with white spots, outer webs of secondaries through out and of
primaries near the base yellowish green; tail black, the median feathers with
green edges towards the base; chin, throat, sides of neck, and upper breast
yellow, shading o on the lower breast into the colour of the abdomen, which
is whitish with scale-like brown markings formed by intramarginal bands and
shaft-lines to the feathers, these markings being broader on the lower
tail-coverts. Female lacks the red of the crown, but otherwise
resembles the male. In some specimens of both sexes there is a white or
yellow line behind the eye.
Gecinus erythropygius, apud Wardl. Ramsay, P.Z.S. 1874, p.212, pl.
xxxv; Walden, Ibis, 1875, pp.148,463; id. in Blyth's Birds Burm. p.76; Oates,
S.F.x, p.191; id, B.B.ii, p.52; Hargitt, Ibis, 1888, p.189, nec Elliot
Gecinus nigrigenis, Hume, J.A.S.B. 1574, p.106; id. S.F.i pp.444,471;
id. Cat.no.171 ter; Hume & Dav. S.F.vi, p.136 Bingham, S.F.ix, p.163;
Hargitt, Cat. B.M. xviii, p.67; Oates in Hume’s N. & E. 2nd ed. ii. p.300
Bill dark horny; iris sulphur-yellow; legs and feet dark green; claws horny
(Bingham). The basal portion of the lower mandible is yellow to a variable
Size: Length 12.75; tail 5; wing 6.3; tarsus
1.2; bill from gape 1.6.
Distribution: From Karennee and Toungngoo in the north to southern
Tenasserim. A specimen has also been received at the British Museum from
Siam. The true G. erythropygius from Cochin, China and Laos, has a
Habits: This beautiful green Woodpecker keeps to the drier and more
thinly wooded Tenasserim hills, and is chiefly found in eng- (Dipterocarpus)
and bamboo-jungle. According to Bingham its note is peculiar and consists of
12 to 15 whistled notes, the first high and shrill, the others descending in
the scale. The nest, containing two glossy white eggs measuring 1.18 by 0.93,
was found by the same observer in a pynkado-tree (Xylia) on March 18th.