Common Flameback: The Fiery Feathered Marvel of the Forest


The Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense) is a mesmerizing bird species, often considered a work of art in motion due to its vibrant crest and captivating behavior. You can encounter this bird in various parts of the world, but its presence is notably significant in the Western Ghats of India. For any bird lover, the Common Flameback is a delightful sight to behold. Capturing this species on a bird image can be a photographer’s dream, given its striking features.

This bird is known for its distinctive sound, almost musical to the ears of those who appreciate birdlife sanctuary. It seldom drums on wood, unlike other woodpeckers, which is quite intriguing. So, if you’re planning a visit to a bird sanctuary, be on the lookout for this avian gem. You might just spot it during its bird migration season, nesting or possibly foraging.

Table for the Bird

Serial NumberCharacteristicsDescription
1Common nameCommon Flameback
2Scientific nameDinopium javanense
3ColourMales: Red crest; Females: Black crest with white streaks
4Average length28–32 cm
5Average height28–32 cm (vertical upside down)
6Type of birdForest, Scrubs, Mangroves
7Found in India in statesWestern Ghats
8HabitatMoist open forests, scrubs, mangroves
9IUCN StatusLeast Concern (LC)

Features of the Bird


The Common Flameback ranges from about 28 to 32 cm in length. Unlike some birds that frequent bird shops near me, this is quite sizable for a woodpecker. It’s not just the length that grabs attention; the sheer artwork on its feathers, its spectacular crest and the general body constitution make it a subject of admiration. This bird picture perfect creature thrives in the wild, far from the urban hustle and bustle.


When observed vertically upside down, the Common Flameback still measures around 28–32 cm, marking a consistent dimension that makes it a captivating subject for bird photos.

Running Speed

Though it rarely makes ground forays, the Common Flameback can move swiftly when it needs to. There are no specific data on its running speed, but its agility in climbing tree trunks is a sight to behold, especially if you are a bird lover.


The color is perhaps one of the most striking features of the Common Flameback. Males are adorned with a vibrant red crest, while females have a more subdued black crest adorned with white streaks.

Habitat and Food of the Bird

  1. Habitat: The Common Flameback prefers moist open forests, scrubs, and mangroves. It can sometimes ascend up to 1700m above sea level, where it usually resides in pine forests.
  1. Distribution: Predominantly found in Southeast Asia, its range also includes the Western Ghats in India.
  1. Diet: They are omnivorous, feeding on insects and seeds, making them less dependent on bird shops for sustenance.
  1. Behavior: Shy and elusive, they are unlikely to be found in urban areas, maintaining a safe distance from human habitats.
  1. Altitude: The Common Flameback can survive at altitudes as high as 1700m, particularly in India.

Nesting and Nurturing

The Common Flameback exhibits fascinating nesting behavior. Females usually initiate the nest building, which is generally located in tree trunks or branches. The male takes up the role of incubating the eggs, showcasing a perfect example of avian partnership. It might be difficult to spot such nests, but for a bird nest enthusiast, it’s worth the hunt. The nesting season usually ranges from June to September.


While it is a relatively lesser-known species compared to other woodpeckers, it faces threats such as habitat loss and human disturbances. Given its specific habitat requirements, degradation of moist forests and mangroves puts this bird at risk.

IUCN Status and Conservation

The Common Flameback is categorized as Least Concern (LC) by the IUCN, but that doesn’t mean it is free from threats. It’s important for birdlife sanctuary efforts and bird conservation activities to include this species in their protection plans.


In summary, the Common Flameback is a wonder of the bird kingdom, an awe-inspiring species that captures the essence of biodiversity and natural beauty. Whether you encounter it in a bird sanctuary or spot it during its bird migration season, its striking appearance and unique behaviors will leave a lasting impression. The bird’s fascinating life, from its nesting habits to its feeding behaviors, offers a myriad of topics for bird lovers and researchers alike. If you’re someone who likes to collect bird photos, a close-up of this species would be a prized possession. While the species is categorized as Least Concern (LC) by the IUCN, it’s crucial for birdlife sanctuary and bird conservation efforts to maintain and protect its natural habitats. Conservationists, photographers, or even casual birdwatchers, each has something to gain from the splendor that the Common Flameback brings to the table. Its existence adds an extra layer of charm and complexity to our ecosystems, underscoring the urgent need for comprehensive and focused conservation strategies.

More info about Common Flameback – Link

image_pdfDownload As PDF

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *