Male: brownish-black above, spotted all over with white; golden-brown forehead and crown; small scarlet crest; pale fulvous below throat, streaked brown; scarlet patch in centre of abdomen distinctive. Female: lacks scarlet crest. Solitary or pairs; sometimes small bands of up to 6 birds; occasionally seen with mixed hunting parties; moves in jerks along tree stems and branches; hunts in typical woodpecker manner; rather confiding in some areas; birds keep in touch with faint creaking sounds.
open forests, scrub, cultivation, vicinity of habitation, gardens.
chiefly insects; also figs, other fruits and flower nectar.
common and widespread; almost subcontinent, from Himalayan foothills south; uncommon in NE regions.
soft but sharp clic…click…clickrrr…; drums when breeding.