Male: shining golden-yellow and black above; crimson crown and crest; black throat and sides of head, with fine white streaks; white underbody, streaked black, boldly on breast. Female: black crown spotted with white; crimson crest. Usually pairs, sometimes half a dozen together; widespread and common; moves jerkily up and around tree stems or clings on undersides of branches; taps out insects; often associates in mixed hunting parties; may descend to ground, picking off ants and other insects.
forests, both dry and mixed deciduous; orchards; gardens; also neighbourhood of villages and other habitation.
chiefly ants, termites; caterpillars and centipedes on ground; also figs and berries.
subcontinent, up to about 1,800m in outer Himalaya; also found in drier areas of NW India.
noisy; loud, high-pitched cackle, like laughter; drums often.