Greater Flameback: A Brilliant Burst of Color in the Wilderness


The Greater Flameback is a mesmerizing display of nature’s artistry, a colorful spectacle that captivates bird lovers and naturalists alike. At 33 cm long, this large woodpecker boasts an eye-catching array of colors, from golden-yellow to dark brown, and its vibrant red rump is a sight to behold. While the underparts remain fairly unassuming in white or light brown, the male’s red crown adds to its allure. In the woods, its strong bill and agile zygodactyl feet make it a proficient forager. Whether you’re looking for the perfect bird image name to identify or are considering a visit to a bird sanctuary, this species is a must-see.


Serial NumberCharacteristicsDescription
1Common nameGreater Flameback
2Scientific nameChrysocolaptes guttacristatus
3ColourGolden-yellow to dark brown; red rump
4Average length33 cm
5Average height33 cm when vertically aligned
6Type of birdForest
7Found in India in statesKerala, Western Ghats
8HabitatOpen forest, Mangroves
9IUCN StatusLeast Concern

Features of the Bird


The Greater Flameback measures approximately 33 cm in length. This size makes it one of the larger woodpeckers, allowing it to reach into deeper crevices of tree trunks in its endless search for food. While foraging, you’ll often spot this bird in a bird nest in open forests or mangroves, using its long, sharp bill to probe for food. So, if you are a bird lover who enjoys bird photos, capturing its long figure against the backdrop of dense forests could be a visual treat.


When measured vertically, the Greater Flameback stands at an imposing 33 cm. In the world of birdlife, this height is noteworthy for a woodpecker, as it allows the bird to easily reach into various parts of trees to look for food. It stands tall, with a posture that commands attention. Those who are interested in bird house designing may consider accommodating such dimensions to attract this species.

Running Speed

Despite being primarily a tree-dwelling species, the Greater Flameback is also capable of swift movement along the ground, particularly when it senses danger. Although exact speed figures are not readily available, its agility is something that could capture the interest of any bird lover.


The Greater Flameback sports a striking array of colors that range from golden-yellow to dark brown. The adult male has a distinct red crown, making identification simpler for those keen on bird image names and bird png collections. The females, on the other hand, have crowns with shades ranging from white, yellow, to brown, all of which are speckled with lighter dots.

Habitat and Food of the Bird

  1. Habitat: The Greater Flameback thrives in various types of forests, including open forests and mangroves. However, they seem to prefer specific tree types like Avicennia alba. These habitats are often found in bird sanctuaries and birdlife sanctuaries.
  1. Food: They feed mainly on small invertebrates, which they extract from tree barks. However, they also consume nectar, adding variety to their diet.
  1. Feeding Time: Active mostly during the daytime, they are particularly industrious during the morning and late afternoon.
  1. Water Source: Prefers natural water bodies found in its habitat, usually streams or lakes in forests.
  1. Human Proximity: Though not overly cautious, they prefer to keep a distance from human settlements. Hence, a visit to a bird sanctuary is often the best way to observe them.

Nesting and Nurturing

This species demonstrates fascinating behaviors around nesting. Nests are usually built in tree holes, often at considerable heights to evade predators. The male incubates the usually three or four white eggs, and tends to the young post-hatching. This makes bird house planning an exciting endeavor for those interested in accommodating these birds.


While not considered a threatened species, the Greater Flameback faces challenges like habitat destruction and human interference. These problems make the role of bird sanctuaries and birdlife sanctuaries crucial for their survival.

IUCN Status and Conservation

As per the IUCN Red List, the Greater Flameback is currently categorized as ‘Least Concern’, suggesting a relatively stable population. However, it’s vital to continue supporting bird conservation efforts to maintain this status.


If you are an ardent bird lover, bird photographer, or just someone interested in bird migration, the Greater Flameback deserves a spot on your must-see list. With its spectacular array of colors and fascinating behaviors, this bird is a living testament to the incredible diversity of birdlife.

More info about Greater Flameback – Link

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