Darjeeling woodpecker

   ›      ›   Darjeeling woodpecker - Dendrocopos darjellensis

The Darjeeling woodpecker (Dendrocopos darjellensis) belongs to the family of sapsuckers and woodpeckers, the Picidae.

The Darjeeling woodpecker species is distributed in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, China and Vietnam. These woodpecker species inhabit subtropical or tropical moist montane forests and high altitude shrublands. These woodpeckers are monotypic species.
Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Darjeeling Woodpecker Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The Darjeeling woodpecker (Dendrocopos darjellensis) is a medium-sized pied woodpecker, measuring 20 to 25 cm in length and weighing 60 to 90 grams.

The male Darjeeling woodpecker has whitish lower forehead. The upper forehead and crown are black. There is a narrow red nape patch. The hindneck is black. The sides of the neck and ear coverts are yellowish. The cheeks and lores are white.

The long black moustache extending to upper breast. The upperparts are black with large white scapular patches. The flight feathers have white bars. The tail has white bands and bars. The underparts are dirty white with black streaks. The vent region is red.

The bill is long and steel-gray in color. The irises are black. The legs and feet are pale grayish pink. The call of these woodpecker species is a loud "tsik" or loud rattling sound.
Indian birds - Picture of Darjeeling woodpecker - Dendrocopos darjellensis
1.Birds of India - Image of Darjeeling woodpecker - Dendrocopos darjellensis by Dibyendu Ash


Birds of India - Photo of Darjeeling woodpecker - Dendrocopos darjellensis
2.Indian birds - Picture of Darjeeling woodpecker - Dendrocopos darjellensis by Francesco Veronesi

Indian birds - Image of Darjeeling woodpecker - Dendrocopos darjellensis
3.Birds of India - Photo of Darjeeling woodpecker - Dendrocopos darjellensis by nbu2012

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These Darjeeling woodpeckers are distributed in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, China and Vietnam. In India, these species are distributed in the states of Sikkim, northmost West Bengal, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram.

In China, these Darjeeling woodpecker species are distributed in southern Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. In Vietnam, they are distributed in the northern parts.

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of these woodpeckers in Nepal are, Sagarmatha National Park, Phulchoki Mountain forests, Makalu Barun National Park, Mai Valley forests, Langtang National Park, Kanchenjunga Conservation Area, Annapurna Conservation Area, Tamur valley and watershed and Shivapuri-Nagarjun National Park.

Ecosystem and habitat

These Darjeeling woodpecker species have high forest dependence. They normally occur in altitudes from 1500 to 4000 meters.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these species include, tropical and subtropical moist montane forests, cloud-forests with moss-covered trees, evergreen forests and tropical and subtropical high altitude shrublands.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of this Darjeeling woodpecker consists mainly of insects. Insects, pupae and larvae of wood boring insects are their primary food. They also glean insect prey from the tree branches and foliage.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these Darjeeling woodpecker species is from April to May in Myanmar, India and Nepal. These species are monogamous and territorial. Their courtship involves crest raising. They nest in cavities excavated by themselves.

Migration and movement patterns

These Darjeeling woodpecker species are altitudinal migrant birds. They disperse locally after breeding. The populations in higher altitudes descend to the lower levels during winter.

Post breeding, the juvenile woodpeckers may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. Within their range they may make local movements for feeding and breeding.

Darjeeling woodpecker - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Dendrocopos darjellensis
  • Species author: (Blyth, 1845)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Picus (Dendrocopus) darjellensis Blyth, 1845
  • Family: Picidae › Piciformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Darjeeling woodpecker, Chinese: 黄颈啄木鸟, French: Pic de Darjiling, German: Darjeelingspecht, Spanish: Pico de Darjeeling, Russian: Сиккимский дятел, Japanese: キバラアカゲラ
  • Other names: Darjeeling Pied Woodpecker
  • Distribution: India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, China, Vietnam
  • Diet and feeding habits: insects, insect larvae, insect pupae
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the Darjeeling woodpecker (Dendrocopos darjellensis) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be stable.

In most of its range, this woodpecker species is reported to be locally fairly common to uncommon. The generation length is 5.2 years. Its distribution size is about 1,820,000 sq.km.

Habitat alteration and destruction and deforestation are the main threats that are endangering the survival of these woodpecker species.

IUCN and CITES status

The Darjeeling woodpecker (Dendrocopos darjellensis) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the woodpecker species and has listed it as of "Least Concern".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the Darjeeling woodpecker (Dendrocopos darjellensis).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Dendrocopos darjellensis
Species:D. darjellensis
Binomial name:Dendrocopos darjellensis
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The Darjeeling woodpecker (Dendrocopos darjellensis) is closely related to the great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major).
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1.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Darjeeling_Woodpecker_Khangchendzonga_Biosphere_Reserve_West_Sikkim_Sikkim_India_30.10.2015.jpg (cropped)
Image author: Dibyendu Ash | License: CC BY-SA 3.0 as on 2/14/18
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Darjeeling_Woodpecker_-_Bhutan_S4E9850_(16224265649).jpg (cropped)
Image author: Francesco Veronesi | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 as on 2/14/18
3.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/89378621@N06/8465121732/ (cropped)
Image author: nbu2012 | License: CC BY 2.0 as on 2/14/18
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