Lesser Goldenbacked Woodpecker or Dinopium benghalense
Be it in countrysides, cities or dense forests, our winged friends called birds are everywhere. Kerala is home to about 500 varieties of birds, of which 16 species are endemic to the region.
The Lesser Goldenbacked Woodpecker or Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense) is found in forests as well as countryside. They can also be seen at well-wooded cities. It is found in almost all parts of southern Asia.
The Lesser Goldenbacked Woodpecker has got a pointed bill, a stiff tail to provide support against tree trunks, a “yoked" feet, with two toes pointing forward, and two backward. The long tongue can be darted forward to capture insects. The adult male has a red crown. Females have a dark fore crown, with red only on the rear half.
With a length of 26-29 centimetres, this is a large bird. It makes nests inside holes excavated in soft wood by the bird itself. Three eggs are laid at one time.
These woodpeckers have the habit of smearing ants or exudations of certain trees into their feathers – this is believed to expel unwanted parasites from the birds’ feathers and skin.